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Tuesday
Aug042009

Vision Problems Common In Students 12-17

     RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. -- Vision Care and Prevent Blindness America announced today the results of their joint nationwide survey of nearly 1,500 participants. The study revealed more than one in five 12 to 17-year-olds have difficulty seeing the classroom whiteboard/chalkboard, with more than one in four complaining of headaches. These complaints are noted even though nearly half of the children in this age group reported wearing some type of prescription eyewear.

     "The survey provides a clear example of why regular eye exams are so important as children progress in school," said Gary Brooks, VSP Vision Care President. "Most parents probably assume once a prescription is given, there isn't a need for further follow up. However, the survey results reinforce the need for regular eye exams as kids' eyes continue to change and adapt. There are growing demands on their vision as they advance academically. The headaches the older children are experiencing may be a natural result of their eyes experiencing more strain and stress but not receiving updated prescriptions to accommodate the changes."

     All five Anderson County school districts provide routine vision screening to students entering kindergarten in attempts to catch vision problems early.

     Additional findings of the survey show that: Almost two-thirds (66 percent) of children under the age of six have never had an eye exam by an eye doctor. One in four 6 to 11-year-olds wears prescription glasses. The prevalence of common eye conditions, as reported by parents, increases with the child's age. The most common vision problem in older children is nearsightedness, also called myopia. This is a vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away, like a chalkboard, appear blurred. As part of Children's Eye Health and Safety Month in August, VSP and Prevent Blindness America hope to educate parents and caregivers on the importance of vision care and encourage them to make their children's eye health a priority.

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