Saturday, October 21, 2017
Text Size

20171007 lions club eye photo

Adabelle DeLuna, 4, who attends pre-kindergarten classes at Bryan Elementary School, has her eyes checked by Tim Milam as fellow Mission Lions Club member Ron D’Andrea looks on Sept. 15. Progress Times photo by Joe Hinton

Imagine a machine that can cut the time of a task that once took two days down to about a half hour. That’s exactly what the Mission Lions Club has brought to area schools with a small camera-sized instrument that in five seconds can perform an eye exam.

The task is screening pre-kinder and kindergarten students for vision problems, and the results have demonstrated the importance of the screenings. The Mission Lions Club has used a special camera-like, hand-held screening device to perform over 1600 vision exams so far this school year, and they typically detect abnormalities in 20-25 percent of the children, requiring them to be referred for further examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, said Mission Lions Club member Ron D’Andrea. The Lions Club vision screenings are performed at no cost to the families or the school district, and the device can detect many problems that would not have been caught using the traditional eye chart exam method.

The device can quickly analyze the eye and detect more than a half dozen abnormalities including astigmatism, myopia and amblyopia, the latter of which can lead to permanent vision loss if not detected between birth and the age of six.

On Friday, Sept. 15, Lions Club members D’Andrea and Tim Milam, both state certified to administer the exams using the Welch-Allyn “Spot” V100 analyzer, assisted school nurse Nancy Cardoza in examining the eyes of 119 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students at Bryan Elementary School. The pair travels throughout the area where, by Nov. 17, they will have assisted 14 schools in the Mission Consolidated Independent School District and four Idea Academy schools conduct required eye exams on children under age six, the most difficult age group to test, Cardoza said.

This is the third year the Lions Club has assisted Cardoza and other schools with student eye exams. She said before the V100, it could take her two days to examine an average classroom of 25 to 30 kindergarten and pre-kindergarten-aged students.

Texas law requires students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, third and fifth grades receive eye exams within the first 120 days of the school year’s start, said the nurse, a task that was once both burdensome and time consuming.

“Because we have to sit them down at the desk, tape up the eye chart then have them cover one eye, uncover the eye and then they’ll start crying because they can’t see and it’s just, “ Cardoza pauses, “they’re babies.”

“It eliminates the need for an eye chart. It’s all automated,” said Milam who administered exams to four year olds in teacher Nora Sanchez’s pre-kindergarten class Sept. 15 in about 20 minutes.

Using the new device makes the eye examinations easier and much faster. D’Andrea and Milam completed all 119 exams in four hours, which based on Cardoza’s formula of two days for 25 students, saved her about eight days of work, D’Andrea said.

With D’Andrea’s assistance, the children were lined up in chairs next to each other with Milam performing the exams – taking a quick reading of the student’s eyes – moving from one to the next in quick succession.

At a cost of $8,000 each, the V100 was made specifically for children. The exam is administered after first dimming room lights to dilate the pupils. Then the students look into the V100’s lens just like they would at a camera. The difference is when children look into the V100’s lens they see something similar to an illuminated, multi-colored, moving kaleidoscope with the sounds of birds chirping emanating from the device to help hold the child’s attention. The exam is over typically in 10 seconds or less. The results with the student’s names are displayed on a readout screen and can be saved onto a flash drive that is provided to the school nurse for their records.

D’Andrea said the Lions Club District 2-A3 purchased three V100s through grants from the Lions Club International Foundation and contributions from the 52 club chapters within the district that spans across South Texas. He said one unit is based in Mission, another in Donna and the third in Brownsville.

“The Lions Club has a decades-long tradition of helping underprivileged children obtain eye exams and glasses,” D’Andrea said.

Cardoza said another advantage to the V100 is it can better detect the eye abnormalities than a nurse’s visual inspection. The machine even presents corrective lens prescriptions. However, D’Andrea said the purpose of the screening is to determine if children need to be referred to an optometrist or ophthalmologist for a full eye exam.

We don’t diagnose the student,” Milam said.

In Mission the Lions Club works in conjunction with the Shah Eye Center where children who otherwise could not afford the eye exam are referred. D’Andrea said the center performs the eye exams at a discount with the Lions Club covering the cost.

“It’s a great help,” Cardoza said of the V100 and the Lions Club volunteers who administer the eye exams. “Because it’s very fast.”

Top News

  • RGV Winter Texan visitors on the rise

    20171019 AlamoPalms mgr RockyRamirez n Ida 3756Local resorts report increased reservations again this year

    Alamo Palms Mobile Park Manager Rocky Ramirez and resident Ila Wisdom, a Fort Worth native, stand on her front porch next to a bottle tree. Wisdom is planning an early returning Winter Texan get together on Friday in her yard at the park. Ramirez, like many managers… Read More +

  • Texas Butterfly Festival takes flight Nov. 4-7 in Mission

    20171019 RGVVG Butterflies Queen on Scarlet MilkweedButterfly watching is a huge hobby for people around the world.

    Butterfly enthusiasts from 23 states and four countries flocked to last year’s Texas Butterfly Festival at the National Butterfly Center in Mission. This year's event, the 22nd annual, will be held from… Read More +

  • Pow Wow next week preserves Indian heritage

    20171019 Robert Soto Fancy Dancer 2012The 47th annual Dak' EE Si Pow Wow takes place from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28 at Lark Community Center in McAllen. The event is free and open to the public.

    The Pow Wow, just three… Read More +

  • RGV Birding Festival brings excitement

    20171019 LeastGrebe at Estero Llano Grande Bill Supulski

    The Least Grebe is one of the species that participants in this year’s RGV Birding Festival may expect to see. Photo taken by Bill Supulski at Estero Llano Grande.

    When… Read More +

  • Welcome Back, Winter Texans

    FromthepublisherWelcome back, folks.

    It seems like it’s been forever since you were here with us enjoying the great weather and abundance of fun activities in the Rio Grande Valley. While it’s been a busy summer, we are always eager for a new Winter Texan season to begin.

    Welcome… Read More +

  • When do we set our clocks back? Daylight Saving Time ends Nov. 5

    20171007 daylight savings endsIn Texas and throughout most of the United States, we have been operating under Daylight Saving Time since March. But Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 5, so don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour – “fall back” – and get in an extra hour of sleep before… Read More +

  • Judges present case for $150 million county courthouse

    20170928 Hidalgo CourthouseHidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia spent the noon hour Sept. 28 detailing to about 80 persons attending a Citizens League luncheon why the time is now for a new $150 million county courthouse, among them the antiquated system of transporting jail detainees to their court appearances down the same hallways used by the public and courthouse staff. Progress Times photo by… Read More +

  • Palmhurst begins construction of Shary Chapel Municipal Park

    20171005 Palmhurst Centenial Shary Mansion dy 038The city of Palmhurst has begun development of the long-waited Shary Chapel Municipal Park, which the city fathers have envisioned as a scenic centerpiece for the small, close-knit community.

    Mayor Ramiro Rodriguez and City Planner Lupe Garcia outlined plans for the park… Read More +

  • Lions Club works with schools to prevent potential vision loss

    20171007 lions club eye photo

    Adabelle DeLuna, 4, who attends pre-kindergarten classes at Bryan Elementary School, has her eyes checked by Tim Milam as fellow Mission Lions Club member Ron D’Andrea looks on Sept. 15. Progress Times photo by Joe Hinton

    Imagine a machine that can cut the time of a task that once took two days down to… Read More +

  • Area residents pitch in to help Hurricane Harvey victims

    20170828 HUrricane ReliefAll across the Valley in nearly every community the picture was the same, stacks of bottled water and dry goods accumulating on pallets for transport north to hurricane victims.

    Mission resident Stephanie E. Casas was among the many area residents who were dropping off items Monday at one of two donation sites set up by the City of Mission… Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Login