Preschool Vision Screening comes to Thurmont
In the year 2000 a group of interested Thurmont Lions club members saw a presentation about a new program underway in a neighboring Lions Club. This presentation sparked great interest and the "Preschool Vision Screening Program" (Thurmont style) was born. 

What is the Preschool Vision Screening Program?

The program is a free screening program provided by the Thurmont Lions Club aimed at identifying eyesight problems in children. The goal is to facilitate corrective measures while the child is young so that future problems will be minimized or even avoided altogether. Getting children screened is important: anywhere from 3 to 5% of preschool children have some form of amblyopia or what is commonly known as "lazy eye". If done in time, treatment can save the childs sight. If left untreated, this condition can result in serious eye-sight problems up to and including blindness.

Who Can Get a Screening?

The screening is provided free of charge for children from 6 months to 5 years old. Note: A child that wears glasses is not eligible since they have had professional care.

Where are Screenings Done?

Screenings are done anywhere with a group of children; be it in a day care facility, preschool program, church sunday school, etc. These are normally closed enrollments for a particular site. We also offer open enrollment screenings at the Thurmont Regional Branch Library on Moser Road and at the Thurmont Lions Club annual health fair.

When are Screens Done?

Screenings can be done any time of the year. However, they are mostly done during the school year. Any group or organization can request a screening through the Thurmont Lions Club's PSVS Chairman, Paul Cannada, e-mail:

An annual screening is conducted at the Emmitsburg Early Learning Center in the month of October. We are working to secure other centers to arrange annual screenings.

What is screened?

The purpose of the screening is not to determine what kind of treatment the child needs; it is only to notify the parent/guardian that our screening tests have indicated an abnormality and we recommend that the parent/guardian take the child to an eye specialist for further evaluation. Three areas are screened:

  • Sphere or power of the eye measured in diopters: a negative reading indicates myopia (near-sightedness) while a positive reading indicates hyperopia (far-sightedness)
  • Cylinder is the measure of astigmatism or irregular focus of the eye due to an uneven curvature of the cornea
  • Difference is the mean spherical power between the two eyes.
  • Since the Welch/Allyn Sure Sight screener only tests one eye at a time an additional Titmus test is conducted using a random dot butterfly test to check for depth perception.


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