Silver Spring, MD (September 2, 2015) – Poor vision can impact a child’s achievement at school, as well as their mental and social development; in fact, it is estimated that 80 percent of a child’s learning comes through the eyes. Therefore, it is critical that children receive proper eye care to help ensure they are learning in the classroom and staying as healthy as possible. To encourage good health and learning this school year, the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) is partnering with LensCrafters to educate parents and families about the importance of vision screening and regular eye exams.
Children who are experiencing vision problems may not actually realize they are having issues. However, parents can be on the lookout for unexpected signs of eye problems, such as:
Appearance of the eyes: different sized pupils, red eyes or swollen eyelids
Behavior in school: excessive blinking, stumbling or daydreaming
Complaints: headaches, dizziness, nausea or double vision
Parents who are concerned about their child’s vision health should speak with a qualified healthcare professional, like their school nurse or an eye doctor. In schools, nurses play a vital role in conducting evidence-based vision screenings.
“As nurses on the front-lines of childhood healthcare, we are often the first medical professional to identify a vision care need and can help alert parents to the issue, refer them for a comprehensive eye examination and assist in finding resources, if needed,” said Beth Mattey, President of the National Association of School Nurses.
Comprehensive eye exams are important for good eye health, especially for students who have been identified in vision screenings, or have a history or vision problems, vision complaints or associated health conditions. Comprehensive eye exams can help detect eye diseases or conditions, which may not have early warning signs.
“LensCrafters is committed to the eye health of the nation and is proud to be a partner in educating parents about vision needs and delivering quality healthcare.” said Dr. Mark Jacquot, Vice President and Clinical Director at LensCrafters.
Getting a HEAD Start
NASN and LensCrafters urge parents to help their children get a head start this new school year by talking to their school nurse about vision health and visiting an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. Here are four reasons parents should prioritize proper eye care for their children:
Health: A comprehensive eye exam isn’t just about vision; it can also provide information about a person’s overall health and serve as an early indicator of other conditions, like diabetes, which can lead to serious eye disease, like diabetic retinopathy. By tracking the impact of other health issues through regular eye exams, patients can help better protect their vision. Eye doctors may also be able to help identify undiagnosed health conditions, which can then be treated or managed for better eye health and overall wellbeing.
Education: Good vision is critically important to the learning process. Many children who experience difficulty in school may have a visual dysfunction which may be mistaken for a reading or learning dysfunction.
Assessment: 25 percent of children have a vision problem. The most prevalent disabling childhood conditions are vision disorders including lazy eye (amblyopia), crossed eyes (strabismus) and significant refractive errors like nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Damage: UV rays can be harmful to the eyes at any age, but children are even more vulnerable to retinal damage because their eyes are clearer and they often spend much more time outdoors than adults. Up to 80 percent of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV radiation can occur by age 20, so it’s very important to start protecting a child’s eyes early to prevent long-term damage. Since many UV-related eye problems don’t develop instantly after exposure, but lead to more long-term problems, it is important for children (and adults!) to have a regular eye exam and check-up with their eye doctor.
While back-to-school season is the perfect time to remind parents about the importance of screenings and comprehensive eye exams, NASN is committed to healthy vision year-round. As part of this work, NASN participated alongside other leading medical societies and public health organizations in an expert panel roundtable convened by LensCrafters last month to identify barriers that prevent people from receiving regular eye exams, as well as opportunities to ensure eye health is elevated as a national priority. An evidence-based brief of this meeting will be available soon.
In addition, NASN is developing new clinical guidelines for in-school eye exams later this year to ensure school nurses across the country are aligned in how to identify when a child might require a corrective prescription, as well as when a referral to a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist is necessary.
The National Association of School Nurses is a non-profit specialty nursing organization, organized in 1968 and incorporated in 1977, representing school nurses exclusively. NASN has nearly 16,000 members and 50 affiliates, including the District of Columbia and overseas. The mission of the NASN is to advance school nurse practice to keep students healthy, safe and ready to learn. To learn more about NASN, please visit us on the Web at www.nasn.org or call 866-627-6767.
With its 30-year history, LensCrafters is a leader in optical retailing with more locations across North America than any other retailer in the category. LensCrafters is owned by Luxottica Group, a leader in premium, luxury and sports eyewear with approximately 7,000 optical and sun retail stores in North America, Asia-Pacific, China, South Africa, Latin America and Europe. LensCrafters is part of the Eye Love global retail brand family that offers complete vision care through trusted eye care and quality eyewear. Under the Eye Love brand umbrella, which includes LensCrafters China (China), OPSM (Australia) and GMO (South America), are inspiring people to fall in love with their sense of sight, investing in new technology and offering an exceptional range of eyewear with their parent company, Luxottica Group. The brands share a heritage of care and innovation that spans a total of more than 80 years. For more information about LensCrafters, visit www.lenscrafters.com.
About Luxottica Group S.p.A.:
Luxottica Group is a leader in premium, luxury and sports eyewear with over 7,000 optical and sun retail stores in North America, Asia-Pacific, China, South Africa, Latin America and Europe, and a strong, well-balanced brand portfolio. House brands include Ray-Ban, the world’s most famous sun eyewear brand, Oakley, Vogue Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Alain Mikli and Arnette, while licensed brands include Giorgio Armani, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Michael Kors, Starck Eyes, Tiffany and Versace. In addition to a global wholesale network involving 130 different countries, the Group manages leading retail chains in major markets, including LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and ILORI in North America, OPSM and Laubman & Pank in Asia-Pacific, LensCrafters in China, GMO in Latin America and Sunglass Hut worldwide. The Group's products are designed and manufactured at its six manufacturing plants in Italy, three wholly owned plants in the People’s Republic of China, one plant in Brazil and one plant in the United States devoted to the production of sports eyewear. In 2014, Luxottica Group posted net sales of over Euro 7.6 billion. Additional information on the Group is available at www.luxottica.com.#LatestNews