Teams of Army healthcare professionals, American Red Cross and community volunteers are making rounds through U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s schools conducting health screening activity days during the month of October.
The annual activities include basic vision, hearing and dental screenings to assess and identify any problems early and ensure the overall health and well-being of students.
“Good vision is essential for learning,” said Capt. Amy Combs, optometrist with Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic Optometry.
“Learning problems can sometimes be a vision problem,” said Combs, emphasizing the importance of vision screenings for school-aged children. “If words are moving around on the page, or a student is not able to read quickly, or remember what they read, they are not able to learn efficiently or effectively.”
Three different vision tests were conducted during the screenings at Wiesbaden Middle School, to include distance vision (nearsightedness), reading vision (farsightedness), and 3-D vision or depth perception. All seventh-grade students, new students to WMS or any student showing signs of vision related problems, such as excessive squinting, were assessed.
In a separate room volunteers conducted a general hearing test. Students listened through headphones and raised their right or left hand to indicate whether they could hear specific tones or beeps. No internal examination of the ear or eardrum was conducted.
Just down the hall, staff from the Wiesbaden Dental Clinic conducted dental screenings which included visual inspections to check for cavities, assessment of overall oral hygiene, and any orthodontic needs.
The exams are meant to detect larger than average dental problems and no x-rays were taken.
“Going to the dentist can be stressful experience,” said Col. Chin Lin, pediatric dentist with the Wiesbaden Dental Clinic. “The screenings here are in a friendly, non-threatening environment for the students, especially with their peers.”
We see some students who may have never seen a dentist before said Lin. The screenings are a good opportunity to remind parents that pediatric dental services are available here in the Wiesbaden Dental Clinic.
After the screenings, each student received an oral health grade from dentists Lin and Capt. Melissa McGrier. One being “good oral health”; two, “your child may have a cavity or other non-emergent problem”; or three, “call the dental clinic for a follow-on examination.”
The dental team assessed more than 675 students between Aukamm Elementary and WMS with more screenings ahead at Hainerberg Elementary and Wiesbaden High School.
Both vision and dental screenings varied based on the age of the students, and are not intended to replace regular dental check-ups and annual eye exams said the medical teams. Students were given a report of any findings and parents should follow-up with any recommendations.
Dental appointments can be made for children of active duty service members (9 years old and above) at the Wiesbaden Dental Clinic by calling DSN 590-1515 or civ (06371) 9464-1515.
All active duty dependents with Tricare Prime are eligible for one eye exam at the PX optometry clinic per year with Dr. Lindsey Kennedy and may schedule an appointment by calling civ (0611) 7238 6164. Or they may receive an eye exam at the Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic Optometry located on Clay Kaserne by calling central appointments civ (0637) 9464-5762 or DSN 590-5762.