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Doctors of Optometry, Parents, Educators and Legislators Applaud New Illinois Law Requiring Comprehensive Eye Exams for Children Starting School
Date:5/21/2008

side while looking straight ahead.

Comprehensive eye exams for children entering school are critical for the early intervention needed to treat diseases and disorders such as amblyopia ("lazy eye"), strabismus ("crossed eyes"), retinoblastoma (a rare eye cancer) and other serious and potentially blinding problems that can lead to poor school performance and could ultimately affect quality of life.

"With nearly 25 percent of school-age children suffering from vision problems, this law is necessary to help detect problems and treat and prevent diseases that can cause vision loss," said Peter Kehoe, O.D., F.A.A.O., president-elect of the American Optometric Association and Galesburg optometrist. "I know patients throughout Illinois will be helped by this legislation."

Ten million children suffer from vision disorders, according to the National Parent Teacher Association. About 86 percent of children entering first grade don't receive an eye exam.

Comprehensive eye examinations are a cost-effective investment in Illinois' children. Approximately 70 percent of children nationally are insured for comprehensive eye exams through private insurance, Medicaid, S- CHIP or other state or federal programs. Optometrists, ophthalmologists and local charitable organizations will provide assistance for those families in need.

For more information and local resources, please visit http://www.ioaweb.org. To find a nearby optometrist, or to schedule an eye examination for your child, please visit http://www.aoa.org.

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):

The American Optometric Association represents more than 34,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists provide more than two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United States and serve patients in nearly 6,500 communiti
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SOURCE American Optometric Association
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