SOURCE: Eyeglass World

September 05, 2007 12:00 ET

Undiagnosed Vision Problems in Children on the Rise With 86 Percent of Children in the Country Not Receiving a Vision Screening Until After Age 12

Eyeglass World Launches Pilot Program as 2007 School Year Starts to Increase Awareness of Importance of Vision Screening for Children

LAKE WORTH, FL--(Marketwire - September 5, 2007) - If your child tells you he or she is doing poorly in school because they can't see the blackboard, it may not be just a likely excuse. Undiagnosed vision problems in children are a growing issue that can be a major factor in academic performance as well as the source of many behavioral and social issues.

To help raise awareness of undiagnosed vision problems in children, Eyeglass World, a leading retailer of eyewear with locations across the country, has implemented a pilot program for underprivileged children reaching three U.S. cities. In Phoenix, Indianapolis and Orlando, Eyeglass World works with local non-profit organizations to conduct vision screenings for children in need who were not likely to have had any sort of vision test. Any child who is identified as having a potential vision problem is provided with a full eye exam and, if needed, a correct pair of glasses. The screenings, exams and eyeglasses are all provided to the children at no cost.

Some facts about children and undiagnosed vision problems:

--  Approximately 80 percent of all learning during a child's first 12
    years is obtained through the eyes; 86 percent of children do not receive
    an eye exam during that time.  (Journal of Behavioral Optometry)
--  Less than 70 percent of the children identified during vision
    screenings as needing professional eye and vision care or treatment
    actually comply with the recommendations and receive that care.  (Preslan
    MW, Novak A. Baltimore vision screening project; Ophthalmology.)
--  More than 70 percent of juvenile offenders have undiagnosed vision
    problems.  Eye exams can address some of the underlying factors
    contributing to juvenile delinquency, and can lead to proper vision
    correction in children who might otherwise struggle with learning and
    behavioral issues.  (Zaba, JN; Vision's relationship to delinquency,
    illiteracy and learning problems.)
--  Children who do not receive proper vision care generally perform
    significantly below their capability in school and during extracurricular
    activities.  Many children who are doing poorly in school have undiagnosed
    vision problems and, after receiving the proper care, significantly improve
    their grades and behavior.  (American Optometric Association)
--  10 million children in the U.S. suffer from vision problems, and
    vision disorders are the leading cause of handicapping conditions in
    children.  (National Parent Teacher Association)

"There are countless children who are struggling everyday academically, during extracurricular activities, and socially and because they have an undiagnosed vision problem," said Dr. Melissa Frost, an independent Eyeglass World optometrist. "It is imperative that parents be aware of this issue and, even if their child does not complain of a vision problem he or she should have an eye exam yearly starting at age 3 because many children do not realize that they have a problem, assuming that everyone else is seeing the same way."

Eyeglass World is a leading retailer of eyewear, offering consumers the best quality, most current and fashionable brand names, finest service and a large selection in a professional superstore environment. Eyeglass World has 63 stores in 23 states across the country that offer a wide selection of more than 2,000 name brand frames from top designers such as Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. Eyeglass World's on-site labs can manufacture any prescription in as fast as one hour. Eyeglass World also offers top brands of contact lenses, such as ACUVUE and CIBA Vision, as well as an assortment of sunglasses. As one of the country's largest eyewear retailers, Eyeglass World has strong buying power that enables it to offer consumers the best quality eyewear at affordable prices. Eyeglass World accepts most insurance plans, with frequent promotions making vision care even more affordable. More information is available at

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