By: Darrell Greene

Memphis Youth plays sports with cataracts!  People don’t think of young people getting cataracts.  Memphis high school track star doesn’t let poor vision slow him down.

We take our senses for granted until one is taken away.  This young man is Skylan Stephens.  Many people feel their sense of vision is the last one they wish to lose.     

Stephens is a senior track star at Senior Middle High School in Memphis who, despite his challenges, can see nothing but a bright future ahead. 

He has very limited vision after getting Cataracts in both eyes when he was just 5-years-old, but that hasn’t stopped him from achieving academically and athletically.  

He first started noticing his vision problem when he was 5-years-old in kindergarten class.  “I started seeing lines and dots and figures that I knew weren’t on the paper” Stephens said.   He went to his eye doctor and was diagnosed with cataracts.  He had the Cataracts taken out when he was in second grade, but it didn’t heal his impaired vision.  

Stephens still has very limited vision. It poses its own challenges, whether inside the classroom or walking to it.  “As far as reading, I’ve used magnifying glasses, different technology, I’ve used ipads to look at the board to see the lessons and things of that nature.  For the most part I just use resources to help me,” Stephens said.  “I never looked at it as a bad thing.  Just something I’m going through.  And I got used to it over the years.”

Skylan decided to run cross country.  Stephens qualified for the city championship, running the 400-meter race in under 51 seconds. Stephens said wherever he goes to college, he’ll run track while majoring in business.

This is a great local story.  Eyewear Gallery and Drs. Warren Johnson and Do Nguyen feel this story hits home with what they preach in their office about eye health care.    Cataracts are usually found in persons who are older than 40.  Skylan shows that even children may get cataracts.  Eye Exams should be Eye health exams to determine if poor vision is a result from a sight threatening problem and to see if a visual correction may be needed for seeing and learning.  Eye exams should be done yearly even if your child sees well to look for any eye health and potentially sight threatening.  Vision screenings at their doctor or at school is not an eye exam.  Schedule your appointment.  www.EyewearGallery.com

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