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December 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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December 26, 1997

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, December 26 - January l, 1998 - 33 . , d '  .1o Low-income workers, Iammes eligible for free eye exams Low-income workers and their families in Delaware can sign up now to receive free eye care in March through a program called VISION USA. Optometrists who are members of the Delaware optometric asso- ciation are among nearly 8,000 optometrists nationwide who are donating their services through VISION USA to provide free comprehensive eye exams to low- income people in March. To qual- ify for the=free eye care, people must: have a job or live in a house- hold in which at least one member is working part-time; have no health insurance that covers eye Children's sleep Continued from page 31 schedule is in place. "Parents have to make sure, especially with younger children, that it's not a limit-.setting prob- lem before they go to their physician," Sal- vatore said. "In adolescents the problem is often one of 'overbooking' with school, sports, jobs, an d s o c i al SALVATORE activities as more is done outside the home." When biological clocks have been reset, it takes a great deal of cooperation between parentg and their child to "reset" that clock. It is not, Salvatore stressed, simply a matter of going to bed at an earli- er, more appropriate hour. Retraining may take several weeks. Diagnosis of a sleep disorder begins with a full picture of all that's going on in a child or ado- lescent's life at home and at school. It may include a compre- hensive sleep study at Beebe Medical Center's Sleep Disorders Center. "The behavior of these children - excessive sleepiness or grumpi- ness - can be a sign of abuse or other problems in the home, but you don't want to label these kids as troubled children without first making sure they don't have an underlying medical problem," said Cardio-Pulmonary manager TrinaClark-Reese, RN. Clark-Reese supervises the overnight stays at the Sleep Cen- ter. The Beebe facility cannot accept children under seven. Younger patients are referred to specialized neonatal and infant sleep centers within the region. As with adult patients, children spend one or more nights sleeping in the center. Children do require some different equipment, but the procedure is basically the same. Patients arrive at the sleep lab one to 'two hours before their exams; meet certain income crite- ria based on household size; and not have had an eye exam at a doc- tor's office within the last two years. Individuals can obtain applica- tion forms from VISION USA, 243 Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141. Completed forms must be postmarked by Jan. 23, 1998, said Dr. Karen Darrell, O.D., of Wilmington, the VISION USA coordinator for Delaware. Applicants will also be screened for eligibility by phone but only from Jan. 2 through Jan. 30. The number to call then is 1-800-766- 4466. Phone lines will be open scheduled bedtime. Once in bed, a number of adhesive patches attach tiny electrodes and their trailing wires to an array of moni- tors. Sleep specialists watch and record every movement all night long. "This is not like video-taping your children at home," Clark- Reese said. "We have physiologi- cal monitoring, visual monitoring, and audio monitoring. The techni- cians make the report even more complex by reporting and corre- lating each action with what the monitors tell us. For example, they can say that it was at this point that a patient turned over or talked in his or her sleep." Children are often allowed sev- eral short visits or tours of the sleep center before their sched- uled testing2 The familiarity, as well as the scattering of stuffed toys and a huge selection of age- appropriate videos and books, eases their discomfort. Clark-Reese stressed that chil- dren are not just small adults. Not only is their physiology different from adults, but they have addi- tional emotional needs that must be met. Each minor is accompa- nied by a parent, who is encour- aged to make this night's bedtime as close to routine as possible. Children have their usual bedtime snack, brush their teeth, listen to their favorite story, and cuddle a beloved teddy bear. "We're not just talking pedi- atrics, we're talking adolescents," said Clark-Reese. Pediatric and adolescent testing is given special handling by the sleep center, which typically tests two adults per night. Because of their special emotional needs ,pediatric and adolescent patients are given the entire sleep lab to themselves on testing nights. As a result, pediatric patients may have to wait as long as six to eight weeks to be scheduled. "Beebe, as a whole, is trying to enhance pediatric care," said Clark-Reese, "so this is coming at a good time for us." Parents with concerns about possible sleep disorders should consult their children's pediatri- weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (CST). "There is no doubt in my mind that many people in low-income families are being held down because they can't see well enough to do their jobs or to learn in school," Darrell said. "Some also have eye health conditions that could cause blindness if left untreated." Approximately 220,000 low-income children and adults have received free eye care in the first seven years of the VISION USA program. Among the 20,000 examined last year, more than seven out of every 100 had eye health conditions. I clan. For more information in gen- eral or about Beebe Medical Cen- ter's Sleep Disorders Center, call 645-3186. Lose Weight The Natural Way Free Samples Available gO000 Call 644-2990 for details DELAWARE BAY SURGICAL SERVICE immmiimi|i|mimmm||mmmimimi|mmmm|nmmmmmmmmtm||m||mmmmm Specializing in Vascular, Oncologic, Thoracic and General Surgery 550 S. 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