An initiative named Bright Eyes is being launched in Ireland following feedback that the school screening program for children is not as effective as it should be. Reports from the Association of Optometrists claimed children were receiving late treatment as there were shortages in available appointments with ophthalmologists. The Bright Eyes awareness week aims to promote the necessity for a timely and correct diagnosis and further treatment of eye conditions.
The Association of Optometrists further reported that the tests being provided were not sufficiently checking for difficulties in reading vision.
In the County of Kildare follow up screening was with the current system was taking up to forty seven months and further up to three years in Dublin.
The current target for state screening takes place between the ages of five and six which means that some children are only being picked up as having concerns about their vision and receiving a specialist screening test well after they have turned seven.
It was close vision problems that the Association are concerned are not being tested sufficiently for in the existing screening. They call for community based optometrists to provide the follow up screening so that the current waiting times can be significantly reduced.
As a result of the Bright eyes Initiative they have seen many independent optometrists providing gratis 6 Point Vision Checks or at a reduced cost.