Opticians and primary care – essential elements for visual health in childhood

On 17 May, the IMO will be hosting a course aimed at improving early diagnosis of childhood visual problems, in which ophthalmologists, optometrists and healthcare personnel will participate. The specialists aim to reduce the percentage of undiagnosed childhood eye diseases, which could stand at around 16%, according to the IMO Foundation.
On 17 May, IMO will be hosting a course aimed at improving early diagnosis of childhood visual problems, in which ophthalmologists, optometrists and healthcare personnel will participate. The specialists aim to reduce the percentage of undiagnosed childhood eye diseases, which could stand at around 16%, according to IMO Foundation.

On Saturday, 17 May, the Instituto de Microcirugía Ocular (IMO) will be hosting the Paediatric and/or strabismic patient assessment course, whose main goal is to promote cooperation between ophthalmologists, optometrists and personnel from primary care centres or opticians in the diagnosis and detection of the main childhood eye diseases. This early detection is critical, as many paediatric diseases have no symptoms and, if not detected and treated early, they can extend into adulthood.

With this course, IMO specialists aim to help reduce the percentage of children with undiagnosed vision problems, which, according to IMO Foundation, stands at around 16%. This percentage is the average obtained from the free eye checks performed on 2,000 children during the last two editions of Barcelona’s Festival for Children, where hidden disorders were diagnosed in 10% and 17% of children, respectively, and from the free eye examination programme conducted in 2013 among 400 children at risk of social exclusion, 22% of whom had hidden disorders.

According to IMO Foundation data, the percentage of children with undiagnosed vision problems could be around 16%.

The course will involve the participation of the IMO’s Optometry and Refraction Department, which will explain the various tests that can be performed in the paediatric ophthalmology and optometry consultation room; the IMO’s Paediatric Ophthalmology, Strabismus and Neuro-Ophthalmology Department, comprising doctors Josep Visa, Ana Wert and Charlotte Wolley-Dod, who will be responsible for explaining basic examination guidelines and the main treatments and disorders that occur during childhood, and Dra. Esther Pomares, from the IMO’s Genetics Department, who will speak about the genetics of eye diseases.

There will also be two sessions focused on the correction of optical errors in children with glasses or contact lenses.