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Survey: 50% of parents in the U.S. skip out on kids' back to school eye exams

Posted at 5:54 AM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 07:32:49-04

Despite how much children rely on their eyes for learning, a VSP Vision Care and you.gov survey shows that while 80% of parents see the importance in back-to-school eye exams, 50% of them here in the US are skipping out on taking their kids before the start of the school year.

 
Critical learning tools, kids rely on their eyes throughout the majority of the school day, whether for reading the chalkboard, a textbook, or something on the computer, their ability to read and see clearly is important, especiallt when it comes to their ability to succeed in the classroom. 
 
So, why aren’t these parents taking their kids to get their eyes checked?
 
“For the most part kids are copers, which means they are used to going extended periods of time with  blurriness or discomfort before their parents even know there’s a problem,” Dr. Andrew Reynolds, an Ophthalmologist at Ross Eye Institute said.
 
“Often times parents come into my clinic and they think their kids are just fine, until they read their children read the board and they see the extent to which their kids have actually been struggling,” he continued.
 
Other times, more serious conditions may trump an eye exam. 
 
“It’s not uncommon that if a child is battling or dealing with some other serious medical condition, that eye symptoms sort of get grouped in as symptomatic of something else, when in fact there’s no relation,” Dr. Reynolds emphasized. 
 
According to Dr. Reynolds, between 4-5% of kids have eye misalignment and roughly 10% will be diagnosed with some more serious eye condition - further emphasizing the importance of annual eye check-ups from an early age.
 
Whether done at school, the doctors office or at a community screening, these exams are important and could potentially save your child’s life - if not make it much more comfortable on a day-to-day basis.