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Make Eye Exams Part of the Back to School Routine
Date:8/4/2009

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Children across the country are gearing up for a new school year. Before heading back to the classroom, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends a visit to the optometrist. Healthy vision is an important part to the learning process and success in school. Reading, writing and computer work are among the visual skills that students are required to perform daily. However, studies show that 86 percent of children start school without ever having an eye examination.

Many experts believe that approximately 80 percent of learning comes through a child's eyes. Despite the strong correlation between vision and learning, many Americans underestimate the number of children affected by eye and vision problems. According to the American Optometric Association's (AOA) 2009 American Eye-Q(R) survey, which assesses public knowledge and understanding of a wide range of issues related to eye and visual health, 88 percent of respondents did not realize that one in four students have a visual impairment.

"Because a child's vision may change frequently, regular eye and vision care is crucial to a student's classroom success," said Dr. Michael Earley, optometrist and the AOA's vision & learning specialist. "Unfortunately, most parents are not including eye exams as part of their child's back-to-school health check-up."

According to the recent Eye-Q(R) survey, 58 percent of parents did not take their child for an eye exam until age three or older. The AOA recommends that children have their first eye assessment at six months of age, then comprehensive eye exams beginning at age three, before a child enters school, and then every two years, unless otherwise advised by an optometrist. In between visits to the eye doctor, parents, as well as teachers, should keep a watchful eye out for some of the more prevalent signs that a child's vi
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SOURCE American Optometric Association
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