Is An Eye Exam On Your “Back to School” List?
According to the ‘World Health Organization’ (WHO), the single biggest preventable disability is vision loss; believe it or not, 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide and of those 285 million, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of moderate this visual impairment.
Shockingly, 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured with a simple pair of glasses!
Glasses correct a vast array of barriers to learning: Nearsightedness (or myopia – difficulty seeing far objects), farsightedness (or hyperopia – difficulty maintaining a clear image of nearby objects like books or computers), and astigmatism (a defect in the curvature of the eye’s surfaces causing a deviation from roundness to more of the shape of a football resulting in distorted images), collectively these refractive errors represent a staggering 43 % of the world`s visual disabilities.
Experts say it is estimated that 85% of classroom learning is via the visual system; due to this fact, if vision problems aren’t detected early then critical learning gaps are very likely to arise in these critical developmental ages.
In fact, children are at a particularly high risk for missed diagnoses and missed opportunities to intervene at these critical stages of learning development.
Vision and learning are intimately related and the young are often unable to communicate these difficulties or have any reference upon which to compare.
While nearsightedness often presents itself easily through a standard school vision screening (viewing an eye chart set at a distance) or through the child`s own complaint that it`s difficult to see the black board, farsightedness (or hyperopia – difficulty maintaining a clear image of nearby objects like books or computers), is far more insidiously grave and difficult to interpret.
Unfortunately, reading distance vision isn’t checked at a school screening as this diagnosis demands the expertise of a qualified eye doctor.
Why is farsightedness so much more serious?
- It’s presentation is more difficult to detect and may go unnoticed for a lifetime.
- Children with farsightedness have a great deal of difficulty maintaining visual and mental focus on school activity.
- They often become mislabeled by teachers and other educators thereby falling through the cracks, often being mislabeled as learning disabled, ADHD, or even intellectually challenged.
- Mislabeling may start a cascade of profiling in which a student’s potential is ignored or not realized.
- A vicious cycle may initiate whereby children act out, and grades/behaviour are the casualty.
- Low grades, illiteracy and truancy as well as poor choices in social behavior and peers will often result.
There is a measurable correlation between incarceration rates (prison population) and farsightedness and/or illiteracy:
There is no reason for children to suffer this fate, when access to eye care is so attainable.
Remember that 85% percent of learning is visual, so children who can’t afford vision correction are at a great disadvantage.
Eye exams for those under 19 years of age are 100% covered by your BC Care card with no copay or out of pocket expense to you.
Only at Image Optometry can you access our `Gift of Sight` program where those in need will also receive completely free prescription eye glasses if required.
The stated mission of Image Optometry, and the personal goal of Dr. Boyco, is to provide unfettered access for everyone regardless of economic status.
Image Optometry provides total eye care under one roof in order to promote and improve eye health for the general public.
As the largest optometry chain in British Columbia, Image Optometry is able to offer a wide spectrum of eye care services and products that fulfill this commitment to our patients and customers.
… and we’ve gone out of our way to reduce the eye care costs for students 19 and over attending all of our local post secondary schools:
All of our Image Optometry locations are proud supporters of Raise a Reader: