Last year we helped to promote the VSP Vision Care launched VSP Eye Pledge campaign, a free and easy way to donate an eye exam and glasses to a Boys & Girls Club member in need. (VSP pledged to donate up to 50,000 eye exams worth more than $19 million dollars). VSP Vision Care continues its mission to help educate and bring awareness to the importance of proper eye health care for children and adults.
VSP Vision Care (VSP) is the leading not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 58 million members and a network of over 28,000 private-practice optometrist nationwide.
SeeMuchMore.com is a site created by VSP to provide in-depth information and resources to learn about the importance of eye health and enrolling in vision benefits. The site also includes a virtual savings calculator to learn about savings with VSP vision benefits, an interactive, educational game to play and win prizes, as well as helpful information about healthy vision.
According to VSP optometrist Ryan S. Nakamura, OD, of Natomas Optometry in Sacramento, Calif., the following are three reasons why a comprehensive eye exam should be on parents checklist for their children:
1. One in four children has an undetected vision condition. A child doesn’t know what good vision is if he or she has never experienced it. Because eye health plays a major role in academic growth, it’s common for vision problems to be mistaken as a learning disability. Undetected vision conditions can negatively impact learning development and contribute to frustrated students, poor grades and behavioral issues.
2. Comprehensive eye exams detect what school vision screenings cannot. A common misconception is that an in-school vision screening is a sufficient, comprehensive eye exam. While in-school screenings do help identify some vision problems, such as near and farsightedness, they do not test for all of the problems that a comprehensive eye exam can detect like diabetes and hypertension – both growing health concerns for children. Two of the most common vision problems a screening can miss are eye coordination and lazy eye.
3. Children’s eyes develop rapidly. A child’s eyes develop continuously until about the age of seven – making early detection essential in correcting potentially permanent vision issues. Many eyecare professionals recommend a comprehensive eye examination at six months of age, before a child enters preschool, and again before beginning kindergarten, then every year following that. Unfortunately, 76 percent of children haven’t had a comprehensive eye exam by age five.
“Comprehensive vision care is an essential prerequisite to a year of learning,” said Dr. Nakamura. “From focusing on books or computer screens to viewing the whiteboard or even a soccer ball, students utilize and develop visual skills all day long. If they can’t see their best, they simply can’t perform or learn their best.”
Eye exams are important for everyone in your family – from babies to adults, and everyone in between. As a child my parents took great care to make sure I was healthy and that included check-ups to eye care professionals. Even though some of family did to need wear glasses later in life, my parents concern bout proper eye care did help me because I didn’t have to wear glasses until I was an adult.
- Parents should take their children to the eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam starting as young as six months old, then again at three years old, before kindergarten and every year after that.
- In-school screenings do not provide the same level of detection as comprehensive eye exams.
- 80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes, making this an essential for your back-to-school “to do” list.
- Common signs of vision problems include squinting, head tilting, avoiding “close work,” trouble focusing, continuous rubbing of their eyes, headaches, etc.
- 1 in 4 children have an undetected vision condition that can negatively impact learning.
Annual eye exams – such as the VSP Vision Care WellVision Exam® – are important to your overall health. They allow VSP eye doctors to detect early signs of health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, among others.
What are the benefits of enrolling in vision insurance? With VSP Vision Care vision insurance, you will keep your eyes healthy, save money, get access to great eyewear (from classic styles to the latest designer frames, you’ll find hundreds of options for you and your family, located right in your doctor’s office), and to help enable your family to experience life to the fullest, enter to win a FREE Pair of Designer/Brand Name Sunglasses!
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