by South Dakota Lions Foundation | Aug 20, 2014

When Landon was just six months old, his parents, Josh and Allie, thought he might be cross-eyed. They took him to the doctor, but were told it was probably just caused by the extra folds of skin in his eyes.

Over the course of the next two years, Josh and Allie didn’t know there was anything wrong with Landon’s vision. When they noticed him sitting too close to the TV they figured it was just Landon being a “typical kid” and had him move back, away from the screen. Josh explained that they later learned, “He wasn’t seeing with both eyes, so he was trying to get to where he could see.”

When the Kids.See Screening Program came to Landon’s daycare last November, they took the opportunity to have his vision screened. It was that screening that alerted them to Landon’s potential vision problems. The vision screening had identified hyperopia, strabismus, amblyopia and a slight astigmatism in Landon’s eyes.

After receiving the results from the screening, Josh and Allie, took Landon to see an ophthalmologist at Avera to evaluate his vision. The doctor there confirmed the problems identified in the screening and they began the steps needed to correct Landon’s vision.

Since his right eye wasn’t seeing things the way it should, the first step was to patch his left eye for about two months in order to make his right eye look and move more. The next step would be surgery to correct the position of Landon’s eyes. He just had that surgery in the middle of April.

“Now you can tell he’s looking at things better, that he’s looking at you with both eyes,” tells Josh.
They are very happy they had the opportunity to have Landon’s vision screened at his daycare. Josh told us they would have been unaware of Landon’s vision problems until, “much, much later if not for the Kids.See Program.”

“We didn’t see any problems, but he would have had his eyes checked eventually,” he said.

Josh remembered that he had his vision screened by the Lions when he was in the fourth grade. He shared, “We were at the pancake feed and I had my eyes screened. Later, I got a card in the mail that explained I was near-sighted and should go see an eye doctor.”

Now that Landon is almost three, Josh and Allie are very grateful that his vision problem was caught early.

“We’re glad they caught the problem this young,” explained Josh. “It’s better that they were able to fix his vision before he was too old. It is easier to correct and manage the problem when they are younger.”

hyperopia (farsightedness, s a vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus.), strabismus (is a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time), amblyopia (is the loss or lack of development of central vision in one eye that is unrelated to any eye health problem and is not correctable with lenses) and a slight astigmatism (is a vision condition that causes blurred vision due either to the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye)