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EYE-OPENING PRESCHOOLER STATISTICS

It was once thought that only one in 20 preschool children had a vision problem. Now, two large studies recently funded by the National Institutes of Health reveals that one in four preschoolers may have vision disorders such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, crossed eyes (strabismus), and “lazy eye” (amblyopia). While the first three on this list are refraction errors that can be simply treated with corrective lenses, strabismus and amblyopia can result in permanent vision loss if not treated early enough. Even refractive errors pose some adverse consequences if they are pronounced and impede learning. With all this in mind, parents have good reason to schedule a comprehensive eye exam early in their children’s lives. Over time, nearsightedness (myopia) left uncorrected can lead to abnormal lengthening of the eye, which can lead to eye disease. Children cannot recognize or articulate whether they are having a vision problem such as blurry vision or poor eye-hand coordination.  If you have children, protect their visual development by bringing them for routine eye health examinations and also being attentive to unusual behavior such as rubbing of eyes and bumping into things.