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One in Five Teenagers Reports Sight Problems

August is Children?s Eye Health and Safety Month [caption id="attachment_175" align="alignright" width="300"] Twenty percent of students reported difficulty seeing the blackboard.[/caption] For all you parents out there already racked with guilt, I'm going to add to your list... When was the last time you took your child to see an eye doctor for an exam? Just because Tommy can kick the soccer ball doesn't mean his vision is clear. And now there is a study to back that up. VSP Vision Care of Rancho Cordova, California and Prevent Blindness America sponsored a survey of 1,500 kids between age 12 and 17. Astoundingly, 20% of them reported difficulty seeing the chalkboard, even though 45% of them were already wearing eyeglasses. If you're following this, you should be asking why kids who already have glasses are having difficulty. It's because they're still growing! And they don't just need new tops and bigger shoes, they likely need an update in their eyeglass prescription too. A survey of 1,500 participants found more than 1 in 5 of those between 12 and 17 years old have difficulty seeing the chalkboard, and more than 25% complained of headaches, according to VSP Vision Care (Rancho Cordova, Calif.) and Prevent Blindness America, who jointly sponsored the survey. The complaints were noted even though 45% of the participants wore some type of prescription eyewear. There was another disturbing finding. Two-thirds of children under the age of 6 had never had an eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Prevent Blindness America recommends all children have their vision checked at infancy and regularly throughout childhood. If a child fails a vision screening, or if there is any concern of an eye or vision problem, the child should be referred for a complete eye exam by an eye doctor. The combination of primary care doctor eye evaluations and vision screenings with a referral for a complete eye exam by an eye doctor is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for the Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. --- Paul Krawitz, M.D., President Vitamin Science Inc

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