Eye See...Eye Learn Identifying Children with Vision Problems, Surprising Windsor Essex Parents

WINDSOR, ON, April 5 /CNW/ - The Eye See...Eye Learn program has surpassed the half way mark of the school year and is pleased to report that over 400 Windsor Essex area junior kindergarten students this year have been through the program to date. For nearly 50 percent of children reported, it was their first eye exam by an optometrist. At least 75 of the children who have participated in the program have been provided free glasses courtesy of local optometrists and our participating sponsors.

"There are many more junior kindergarten children in the Windsor Essex area that we can help," says Dr John Mastronardi, a local participating optometrist and president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists. "Many parents are assuming that their child can see well so they haven't taken advantage of the program. Children, especially four year olds, don't know what normal vision is supposed to look like and often won't complain to their parents." The Eye See...Eye Learn program gives parents the peace of mind knowing how well their child can see and whether their eyes are developing properly without any cost to them."

As many as 1 in 6 children has a vision problem. It is commonly known that children use their vision for up to 80 percent of their learning. Identifying a vision or developmental problem early in the eye is critical to ensuring that a child can succeed in school and in life.

"Some of the children we have helped through the program have some serious vision problems that had not been previously detected and have come as a surprise to a number of parents. Conditions such as eye health abnormalities, lazy and turned eyes, near and far sightedness, accommodative problems, astigmatism, and colour blindness have been found," notes Dr Mastronardi. "If some of these children were left undiagnosed, irreversible vision loss would likely developed in several cases."

The Eye See...Eye Learn program provides comprehensive eye exams and free glasses to all junior kindergarten students in the Windsor Essex Region. A parent simply needs to present the child's Health Card at the time of the appointment to qualify. Every child in Ontario is eligible for an annual eye exam covered by provincial health insurance until the age of 19.

For more information on the Eye See...Eye Learn program or to book an exam with a participating optometrist, please visit www.EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca or call 800-540-3837.

Optometrists are professionally educated and clinically trained to provide community-based primary eye health and vision care services. Optometrists provide comprehensive eye care for patients of all ages to optimize vision and prevent vision loss.

SOURCE Ontario Association of Optometrists

For further information: Ontario Association of Optometrists, Melissa Secord, 800-540-3837 ext. 243, msecord@optom.on.ca

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Ontario Association of Optometrists

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