2020 Year of the Eye Exam

Governor Pete Ricketts has proclaimed 2020 as the Year of the Eye Exam in Nebraska and The Nebraska Optometric Association is launching an awareness campaign “Beyond 2020 Vision” to call attention to the importance of vision as well as eye health.  Our own Dr Lynda Conner spoke with 10/11 News about the importance of annual eye exams.  

Nebraska Optometric Association Encourages Making Vision Exams a Summer Tradition

NEWS RELEASE 

 Summer Vacation Eye Exams Essential to Helping Children Succeed Next School Year 

 Nebraska Optometric Association Encourages Making Vision Exams a Summer Tradition 

 LINCOLN, NE – With summer vacations in full swing, the Nebraska Optometric Association (NOA) is encouraging parents to ensure a successful upcoming school year by scheduling their children’s annual eye exam now. 

 At a recent presentation to school nurses at the Nebraska School Health Conference, Dr. Lori Grover, OD. PhD. of the American Optometric Association emphasized the importance of all Nebraska students having regular comprehensive eye examinations with a qualified eye care provider. 

 “Student eye health is an imperative part of student learning,” Dr. Grover said. “The Nebraska Optometric Association can serve as a resource for schools to help ensure students have access to a comprehensive eye exam. Access to eye care will decrease health barriers and help keep Nebraska students safe, healthy and ready to learn,” Dr. Grover said. 

 NOA President, Dr. Andrew Bateman, encourages parents to start the next school year on a healthy note by making comprehensive eye exams a priority this summer and maintaining proper eye health throughout the year. 

 “Undetected and untreated vision problems can interfere with a child’s ability to learn in school and participate in sports and other activities. The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed and treated, the less it will impact an individual’s quality of life,” Dr. Bateman said. 

 80% of everything a child learns comes through their eyes and visual system.   

6 out of 10 kids identified as problem learners have undetected vision problems.   

1 in 4 children has a vision problem that can interfere with learning and behavior. 

 “From ages 6 to 18, a child’s vision can change frequently or unexpectedly which can lead to behavioral and attention issues in the classroom. Making a comprehensive eye exam a priority during summer break is one of the single most important investments you can make to your child’s education and overall health,” he said. 

 And, while schools, local health fairs put on by hospitals, social service agencies or fraternal groups typically offer basic vision screenings, a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to detect serious eye health issues. 

 “If the screening indicates a vision problem, they are often referred for further evaluation. However, a vision screening can’t be relied on to provide the same results as a comprehensive eye and vision examination,” Dr. Bateman said. 

 “These screenings cannot detect potentially serious eye and overall health issues in children and should not be relied on to provide the same results as a comprehensive eye and vision examination,” he said. 

 “Screenings can create a false sense of security for those individuals who ‘pass’ the screening but who actually have a vision problem. These people are then less likely to receive treatment for their vision problem-and it could become worse,” Dr. Bateman said. 

 The Nebraska Optometric Association reminds parents to keep these four eye health and safety tips in mind: 

 Make annual eye exams a priority this summer.  Making a comprehensive eye exam a priority during summer break is one of the single most important investments you can make to your child’s education and overall health. The NOA recommends parents take children in for an eye exam by an optometrist soon after six months of age, again by age three and annually thereafter. 

 Screenings are not the same as comprehensive eye exams. Vision screenings can uncover some vision problems, but they can miss more than they find. They should not be relied on to provide the same results as a comprehensive eye and vision examination by a Doctor of Optometry. 

 Look for indicators of eye health issues: Common signals that your child may be experiencing a vision problem include covering one eye, holding reading materials close to the face, a short attention span and complaining of headaches or other discomfort. 

 Prevent eye strain by monitoring the use of digital devices: Increased exposure to electronic devices in and out of the classroom can cause digital eye strain, including burning or itchy eyes, headaches, blurred vision and exhaustion. The NOA recommends following the 20-20-20 rule (taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away), blinking frequently and adjusting your child’s computer screen to prevent glare can prevent discomfort. 

 To make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam or locate your local Doctor of Optometry, visit Nebraska.aoa.org

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The Nebraska Optometric Association (NOA) represents over 275 doctors of optometry serving in more than 80 communities throughout the state. Doctors of Optometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eyes.