Abstract

Background. Vision problems in homeless children can decrease educational achievement and quality of life. Purpose. To estimate the prevalence and specific diagnoses of vision problems in children in an urban homeless shelter. Methods. A prospective series of 107 homeless children and teenagers who underwent screening with a vision questionnaire, eye chart screening (if mature enough) and if vision problem suspected, evaluation by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Glasses and other therapeutic interventions were provided if necessary. Results. The prevalence of vision problems in this population was 25%. Common diagnoses included astigmatism, amblyopia, anisometropia, myopia, and hyperopia. Glasses were required and provided for 24 children (22%). Conclusions. Vision problems in homeless children are common and frequently correctable with ophthalmic intervention. Evaluation by pediatric ophthalmologist is crucial for accurate diagnoses and treatment. Our system of screening and evaluation is feasible, efficacious, and reproducible in other homeless care situations.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-6869
Print ISSN
1049-2089
Pages
pp. 761-770
Launched on MUSE
2015-08-27
Open Access
No
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