Free Exams to Help Detect Extent of Eye Disease in
By Tim Parsons
School of Public Health
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public
Health and the
Institute are conducting a study to determine the
frequency of eye diseases affecting young children. The
Baltimore Pediatric Eye Disease Study will provide a
complete eye exam for 6,000 children living in selected
areas of Baltimore City. The exams are free of charge. A
team of researchers and clinicians led by James Tielsch,
professor of international health at the School of Public
Health, and David Friedman, associate professor at the
Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, are conducting the
study, which is funded by the National Eye Institute.
"Not much is known about eye health in preschool-aged
children, but we do know that good vision is essential for
children to achieve academically. We will determine who is
suffering from eye disease, what types of problems they are
experiencing and why these problems are occurring,"
In addition to assessing the children's general eye
health, the researchers will be looking for signs of
strabismus, or crossed eyes, and amblyopia, a condition in
which vision in one eye is weaker than the other. Both
conditions can lead to permanent vision loss.
"The goal of the study is to provide a picture of the
eye health of children in Baltimore over the next several
years," Tielsch said.
Free comprehensive eye exams will be given to eligible
children from selected Baltimore neighborhoods, which
include Armistead Gardens, Brewers Hill, Canton, Cedmont,
Cedonia, Claremont, Eastwood, Frankford, Fells Point,
Glenham-Bedford, Greektown, Highlandtown, Hopkins Bayview,
Joseph Lee, Kresson, Moravia-Walther, North Harford Road,
O'Donnell Heights, Orangeville, Overlea and Saint Helena.
Children ages 6 months through 5 years may participate.
Free van service to and from the clinic and on-site daycare
will be provided.
All parents and guardians will receive a summary of
their child's eye health, and referrals will be made if a
child needs glasses or other treatment. Financial
assistance is available for families that do not have
health care insurance to pay for glasses or treatment
services. Free eye exams are available daily at the
Baltimore Pediatric Eye Disease Study clinic located at
2501 Edison Hwy. in Baltimore. Additional information is
available by calling 410-502-8508. To inquire if your child
is eligible for the free eye exam, call 443-744-2783.
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