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Essilor Vision Foundation to Parents: Put an Eye Exam on Back-to-School Checklists

Press Release
August 16, 2019

Foundation encourages parents to have their children's eyes checked before school starts

Backpack — check. School supplies — check. Eye exam — not yet? Millions of parents and kids around the country are getting ready for a new school year. Amid all the planning and preparation, Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) is reminding parents to schedule an eye exam for their children before school starts.

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. “Essilor Vision Foundation refers to vision impairment as an invisible problem because, unlike hunger or tooth decay, children often do not even know they cannot see clearly. To them, blurry eyesight is normal,” says Becky Palm, President and Executive Director of Essilor Vision Foundation. Many parents are unable to identify if their child has a vision issue. “As many as 44 percent of parents are unaware that behavioral problems can be an indication that a child’s vision is impaired,” Palm adds.

There are many reasons why an annual eye exam is essential for children:

  • One in four children in the U.S. has a vision issue significant enough to affect their ability to learn.
  • Vision impairment is one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among children in the U.S.
  • Up to 80 percent of what a child learns is through their eyes.
  • 80 percent of vision impairment can be prevented or cured, often with a pair of glasses

In their own words

This year, Essilor Vision Foundation is celebrating providing one million pairs of glasses to people in need since 2007. Here are stories from some of the children who have received a vision exam and glasses. Each child’s story highlights the common symptoms that children struggle with due to impaired vision.

Meet Khloe

Khloe gets free glasses from Essilor Vision FoundationKhloe is the recipient of the one millionth pair of glasses from EVF.

Khloe’s poor vision was causing her to struggle at home and at school. Once she got glasses, everything changed. “When I got glasses it was easy to see. Now I can see my mom, the board and my brother.” In honor of Khloe being the recipient of the one millionth pair of glasses, EVF is providing glasses for her up to age 18.

Meet Victoria

Victoria gets free glasses from Essilor Vision FoundationVictoria’s story shows how vision impacts every aspect of a child’s life.

Her normally bubbly personality became subdued as she attempted to see her world. New glasses are helping her soar. “Once I put my glasses on it was amazing because everything was so clear.”

Meet Eddie

Eddie gets free glasses from Essilor Vision FoundationLike many parents, Eddie’s mother was unaware of the signs and symptoms of vision impairments.

“It was a total surprise to me when I was told that he needed glasses. No one in my family uses glasses, and I thought he was too young,” his mother explains. Eddie is delighted with his glasses. “Before I got my glasses it was hard to see books and letters, but now I can see and I can play hide and seek with my friends.”

Meet Rebecca

Rebecca gets free glasses from Essilor Vision FoundationChildren are often unable to self-identify that their vision is impaired, and that was the case for Rebecca.

“Before I got my glasses, I thought it was normal to see blurry,” she shares. Glasses are helping Rebecca realize her potential. “My glasses are cute and comfortable, and it feels like they were meant to be there,” she shares.

As many as 10 million children in the United States have undetected vision problems, and many are not receiving essential vision care. Essilor Vision Foundation strives to give children a brighter future by helping them see the world clearly. EVF’s programs focus on overcoming the barriers to vision care so fewer children slip through the cracks. The organization partners with eye doctors, non-profits, schools and communities to provide vision screenings, vision exams and eyeglasses to underserved children at no cost to their families. To learn more, visit www.evfusa.org/one-million.


About Essilor Vision Foundation

Since 2007, Essilor Vision Foundation has provided one million pairs of eyeglasses to individuals in need. Essilor Vision Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public, non-profit organization, based in Dallas, Texas, committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences. To learn more or to donate, visit Essilor Vision Foundation at www.evfusa.org.

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