“Eighty per cent of learning is done through vision,” says Dr. Jeff Goodhew, President of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO). “Vision problems that go undetected can often cause difficulties with literacy. Not only that, but vision problems can result in behavioural issues that can be misdiagnosed as ADHD, rather than a vision problem that can be identified and treated by an optometrist.”
A recent survey conducted by the Canadian Association of Optometrists showed that most Ontario parents were unaware that vision problems can lead to difficulties with speech, developmental delays and can be the cause of short attention spans in children.
Parents often assume that their child will tell them if they are struggling with their vision. However, children often don’t realize they have a vision problem, because they have no way of telling what normal vision looks like. An annual, comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist is the only way to truly tell if a child has good vision, and is equipped to learn to their full potential.
“Vision plays such a crucial role in a child’s ability to succeed,” says Dr. Goodhew. “There’s no better time than Children’s Vision Month for parents to take the steps necessary to make sure their children are ready to learn – and it starts with an eye exam.”
OAO recommends that children have their first eye exam at six months-old, another at age three, and annually thereafter to ensure good vision and development. In Ontario, eye exams are covered by OHIP for children up to 19 years-old.
About the Ontario Association of Optometrists
The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is the leading professional organization, representing nearly 1,600 optometrists. We are dedicated to helping our members provide the highest standard of eye health and vision care for Ontarians while driving the profession of optometry forward. OAO’s members are highly-trained regulated health professionals providing primary eye health and vision care to Ontarians. For more information, please visit: optom.on.ca.
For more information, contact:
Ontario Association of Optometrists
905-826-3522 ext. 246