Back to School
An estimated 25 million children have now gone for almost two full years without a simple, yet potentially life-changing, vision screening. Additionally, the switch to remote education over “tiny screens” may have caused a surge of children with correctable myopia, which has spiked to affect nearly half of ALL children in recent studies.
There have been several peer-reviewed scientific studies to show that children who have had significantly increased screen time and reduced outdoor activities have an increased risk for developing myopia (nearsightedness) or other potentially severe ocular conditions. Increasing outdoor activities reduces this risk.
According to educational experts, 80% of learning is visual. If children can’t see well, they will have more difficulty learning. One of the primary threats to young children’s vision has always been ‘lazy eye’ - a layperson’s term for Amblyopia.
Amblyopia and its related issues need to be detected by age 6 in order to have the best chance of being corrected through proven therapeutic approaches, such as short-term patching, through the use of prescription eyeglasses, or, possibly surgery. To put the size of the challenge in some context, up to 5% of all children will have some degree of amblyopia, and up to 30% of all young people will eventually develop poor vision that will require prescription eyewear.
The Challenge is Increasing
With the transition to more and more ‘remote’ learning on tiny screens - and a decrease in outdoor playtime - there is mounting evidence that children at younger and younger ages are developing myopia and other vision challenges.
Unfortunately, our nation’s correctional facilities and places for those having trouble with learning and social behavior are over-populated with people who have fairly significant vision or hearing impairment.
We can’t draw precise correlations of course, but it’s clear that healthy vision can at least give a person a head-start and future resilience.
Fact is, 1-in-3 young children naturally have poor but correctable vision - often just needing eyeglasses. Seems to be happening at younger ages in recent years. Increased screen time and decreasing outdoor playtime is partially to blame.
Bottom-line, children can — and should --- receive a basic, touchless, digital vision screening as young as 6 months. It’s now super easy, proven, and very effective at detecting early vision challenges that need professional care.