Problems & Conditions
Many children suffer from eye and vision problems, in fact, some conditions are more common in children than they are in adults. According to The Vision Council’s Making The Grade report, studies related to children’s vision found that:
- Between two and five percent of pre-school-age children suffer from lazy eye or amblyopia.
- Between three and four percent of pre-school-age children suffer from strabismus, which causes the eyes to turn in or out.
- 15 to 20 percent of pre-schoolers had a refractive error, with myopia (nearsightedness) being the most common error.
- 64 percent of children five years and younger have never had a vision screening by a healthcare professional
- More than 40 percent of children who had a vision problem identified during a screening did not see an eye care professional for follow-up care. This percentage may begin to decrease because, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, children’s comprehensive eye exams and glasses or contact lenses to correct refractive errors will be covered in full beginning January 1, 2014, by health plans offered through state insurance exchanges.
- Two out of three children enter school without ever having a vision screening.
Unidentified and uncorrected vision problems and eye conditions can have a devastating impact on children’s development because it is estimated that 80 percent of children’s learning occurs through visual processing. That is one reason that early detection is so important. Another equally important reason is that some conditions are easier to correct at a young age, before irreversible vision damage occurs.
Fortunately, many children’s eye conditions, as well as vision impairments, have warning signs and solutions. Protecting their eye health begins with a comprehensive eye exam, by recognizing the warning signs associated with eye conditions, and by acting on them with a visit to an eye care provider.