The Eye Didn’t Know That! program, coordinated by Optometry Giving Sight in conjunction with Transitions Optical, has screened a total of 1,188 students in Sydney’s West this year with 410 referred to a local optometrist for a full eye exam, a 34 per cent referral rate.
Already, 17 of the students have redeemed a free pair of prescription glasses with the number expected to rise as more children visit their optometrists with their vouchers.
In the lead up to the end of 2014, the Eye Didn’t Know That! program will travel to two more schools in Sydney’s west where an additional several hundred students will have their vision tested to safeguard their eye health. The aim is to have screened 1,500 children by the close of 2014.
Evidence based, clinical knowledge shows that one in four Australian children are affected by vision problems which can result in a negative influence on their education, behaviour and learning,1 potentially having a detrimental effect on the development of thousands of students.
Eye Didn’t Know That! program coordinator and Optometry Giving Sight global marketing head, Brian Spiller, said the value of the program is immeasurable for children who have never had a vision test and experience difficulty every day in class.
“Children with vision problems can easily fall behind at school. If vision issues are found and addressed in the crucial five to eight age range, it paves the way for increased learning, concentration, and confidence – just because they can see clearly and without straining.”
With vision playing a critical role in children’s development at school, Transitions Optical and Optometry Giving Sight are working with a selection of local optometrists to provide children with access to free perception eye wear, should they need it.
“It is a great relief for parents who cannot afford eye care when they find out they have access to free prescription lenses for their child,” said Mr. Spiller.
1. Ophthal. Physiol. Opt. 2002; 22; 10-25