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How to Solve America’s Vision Care Crisis

Press Release
March 3, 2020

Essilor Vision Foundation encourages everyone to be champions for vision care

When was the last time you took your child to the eye doctor? While it may be as simple as picking up the phone and making an appointment, that’s not the case for millions of children in the U.S. It’s estimated that 12 million kids need vision care, and half of them are not getting it because they face the barriers of awareness, access and affordability. Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) exists to eliminate these barriers and partners with eye doctors, schools, nonprofits and communities to educate the public and provide vision exams and glasses to children in need.

The scope of the problem

Vision impairment is at a critical level. It’s one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among kids in this country, with one in four schoolchildren suffering from a vision problem significant enough to affect their ability to learn. Vision impacts every aspect of a child’s life, from learning, confidence and social interaction to participation in activities such as sports, art and music.

When it comes to their vision, however, children often don’t know to ask for the help they desperately need because they don’t know they can’t see clearly. Undiagnosed vision problems negatively impact kids in a number of ways:

  • Children with poor vision are three times more likely to fall behind in class.
  • Compared to other students, kids with vision problems show academic deficits such as lower attendance rates, weaker literacy and math skills, lower grades, and a much higher incidence of repeating grades.
  • According to the American Optometric Association, children with undetected vision problems often display fatigue, fidgeting, and frustration in the classroom — traits that can lead to a misdiagnosis of dyslexia or other learning disabilities.
  • Two recent reports from Essilor and the World Health Organization detail the vision care crisis and leave no doubt that the time for action is now. “Many people simply accept poor or deteriorating vision as a part of life, including young children who may not realize they see any differently to their peers,” the Essilor report finds. Fortunately, you can do something about it.

Solving the vision care crisis

The first step in solving the crisis is awareness. Your child or a child you know could be suffering from a vision impairment. That’s why it’s critical that all the adults in a child’s life, including parents, school nurses and teachers, know the signs and symptoms of vision impairment and understand the importance of regular visits to the eye doctor.

It’s also essential to increase access to and affordability of vision care for all children in America. You can be an advocate for the millions of kids in need by supporting EVF’s Vote for Vision campaign. Vote for Vision encourages people to prioritize their children’s vision and to donate to the foundation so children in underserved communities around the country can receive critical vision services.

Thanks to generous donor support, no child or their family ever receives a bill for vision care from Essilor Vision Foundation.

About Essilor Vision Foundation

Essilor Vision Foundation strives to give children a brighter future by helping them see the world more clearly. Since 2007, EVF has provided more than one million pairs of eyeglasses to individuals in need. Essilor Vision Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public, non-profit organization committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences. To learn more, visit www.evfusa.org.

Media Contact: Meredith Marmurek | Email: meredith.marmurek@essilorusa.com | 214-850-3642

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