Proper vision care helps kids at school
EL NUEVO SOL—SALUD
For 8-year-old Oscar, eye care is important. Now that he has received proper eye care, he can run around in the playground at school with other kids his age; all thanks to his visit to the optometrist.
The American Optometric association explains Amblyopia, or lazy eye, as generally the result of poor early visual development, and as such, usually occurs before the age of eight. Infants born prematurely, or with low birth weight, are at a greater risk for the development of this condition.
It is estimated that 2 to 4 percent of children have amblyopia.
Oscar doesn’t see himself any different from the other kids he goes to school with. His glasses have become a part of his identity and, as he states, it doesn’t matter if you have glasses or not, you can still be friends. While some kids may be embarrassed about their glasses, Oscar is anything but shy.
According to the American Optometric Association, one in four children has an undetected vision condition that can negatively impact their learning ability. An eye exam not only ensures that common vision problems, such as poor eye coordination, lazy eye and farsightedness, are checked, but also, it can detect signs of chronic health and eye diseases. Most of which, if caught early, are treatable.
According to the American Public Health Association, 25 percent of students in grades K-6 have visual problems that are serious enough to impede learning.
The American Optometric Association also states that at least one child out of every seven, who are under the age of five, has had an examination by an optometrist. Only one child in three has had an eye exam or screening prior to entering school. A child’s development depends heavily on the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of a vision problem.
By going to an annual eye exam, people can prevent and diagnose various diseases. For low-income families, there are other alternatives. Various organizations provide financial assistance for those children who need eye care. Organizations, such as Vision to Learn, InfantSEE, Sight for Students and others, can help low income families.
Now, Oscar will continue to use glasses with the hopes that his eye condition improves. There is always the option for surgery, but for now, because he is so young, glasses are his only option.