Ontario Association of Optometrists to Launch Children’s Vision Program

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More than 25 per cent of Ontario children have vision problems, yet according to 2013 government data, only 10 per cent received a comprehensive eye exam from a Doctor of Optometry before the age of four. On July 1, 2014, Eye See…Eye Learn®, a not-for-profit program designed to detect, diagnose and treat children with vision problems, will launch a campaign to provide free eye exams and glasses to Junior Kindergarten children in Toronto.

“The integration of Eye See…Eye Learn® into the Toronto market is a direct result of the program’s success elsewhere in the province,” said Dr. Farooq Khan, President, Ontario Association of Optometrists. “While children rarely complain about vision problems, or are even aware of them, statistics show the correlation between education and eyes – nearly 25 per cent of children have a vision problem, many of which are thought to have a learning disability. The Eye See…Eye Learn® program will reduce these mislabeled children and ensure that they have the best chance to succeed in school.”

Through Eye See…Eye Learn®, children starting Junior Kindergarten in Toronto this fall will join thousands of other students across the province that are eligible for one free pair of glasses with their annual OHIP eye exam, if prescribed, through participating Doctors of Optometry. Every child in Ontario who has a valid Ontario Health Card is entitled to an annual OHIP-insured eye exam by a Doctor of Optometry, up until age 19.

“Children’s vision became a passion of mine early on, having undergone surgery at the age of two for a crossed eye,” said Dr. Brian Paul, Chair, Eye See…Eye Learn®, Ontario Association of Optometrists. “Vision limitations can be difficult to diagnose in children, making it imperative that they receive a comprehensive exam by a Doctor of Optometry. I experienced how difficult it was to learn how to read with vision problems first-hand and am a testament to the importance of early detection and correction – both offered by Eye See…Eye Learn®.”

Eye See…Eye Learn® is funded in part by the Government of Ontario and administered by the Ontario Association of Optometrists, in conjunction with over 40 school boards, community and industry partners. Further information is available at EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca.

For more information, please visit: optom.on.ca.

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