Three Reasons Why Eye Exams Should Top 2012 Back-to-School Checklists

Child Eye Exam
Back To School ChecklistRancho Cordova, Calif., August 14, 2012 – Pencils, notepads and calculators top back-to-school checklists each year; however eyecare professionals advise that these tools are only as effective as the healthy eyes that use them. Many experts believe that 80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes, making a comprehensive eye exam one of the most important ways parents can give their child the best chance at success this school year.
 
According to VSP optometrist Ryan S. Nakamura, OD, of Natomas Optometry in Sacramento, Calif., the following are three reasons why a comprehensive eye exam should top students’ and parents’ back-to-school checklists:
 
1. One in four children has an undetected vision condition. A child doesn’t know what good vision is if he or she has never experienced it. Because eye health plays a major role in academic growth, it’s common for vision problems to be mistaken as a learning disability. Undetected vision conditions can negatively impact learning development and contribute to frustrated students, poor grades and behavioral issues.  
 
2.  Comprehensive eye exams detect what school vision screenings cannot. A common misconception is that an in-school vision screening is a sufficient, comprehensive eye exam. While in-school screenings do help identify some vision problems, such as near and farsightedness, they do not test for all of the problems that a comprehensive eye exam can detect like diabetes and hypertension – both growing health concerns for children. Two of the most common vision problems a screening can miss are eye coordination and lazy eye. 
 
Standard School Screening 
Comprehensive Eye Exam
  • Visual acuity
  • Visual acuity
  • Refractive status
  • Color vision
  • Eye alignment
  • Eye health
  • Chronic diseases
 
3. Children’s eyes develop rapidly.  A child’s eyes develop continuously until about the age of seven – making early detection essential in correcting potentially permanent vision issues. Many eyecare professionals recommend a comprehensive eye examination at six months of age, before a child enters preschool, and again before beginning kindergarten, then every year following that. Unfortunately, 76 percent of children haven’t had a comprehensive eye exam by age five.
 
“Comprehensive vision care is an essential prerequisite to a year of learning,” said Dr. Nakamura, “From focusing on books or computer screens to viewing the whiteboard or even a soccer ball, students utilize and develop visual skills all day long.  If they can’t see their best, they simply can’t perform or learn their best.”  
 
For more information about the importance of vision care for children and their families, including videos and doctor interviews, visit SeeMuchMore.com.   
 
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About VSP Global
VSP Global® includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 58 million members; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity® which offers innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics.  

To date, through VSP community outreach programs such as VSP Mobile Eyes® and Sight for Students®, and through relationships including those with the American Red Cross and Prevent Blindness America, VSP has invested more than $147 million in free eyecare and eyewear for more than 775,000 adults and children in need throughout the United States.
 
 

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