A Back to School Message

Poor vision is a subtle disability in children. For school-age children, a missed eye exam can result in a lifetime of hardship because undiagnosed vision problems are often easily confused with other conditions: cognitive ability, attention deficit and poor dexterity. Children with undiagnosed vision issues simply do not do as well in school as those who see clearly, and they tend to underreport the problem when describing themselves (assuming their vision better than it is). A child assumes everyone sees as he or she does until corrective measures are introduced. At that point, they have an opportunity to experience a whole new world.

The truth is vision conditions, unlike many other childhood conditions, are highly treatable.

This month I would like to call your attention to the recent work of Caroline Kovarski, Ph.D., an esteemed member of the scientific community and a champion for children worldwide. Dr. Kovarski is an award-winning author, researcher, professor, speaker at the Higher Institute of Optics (ISO) and scientific director at Lavoisier. She’s also leader in the study of incidence of vision problems at school and the often tragic impact of untreated vision in the developing world.

Above all, Dr. Kovarski is an outspoken advocate for children. Her research study,“Effect of Visual Impairments on Academic Performance,” explores students’ tendencies to underreport visual discomfort and the impact of untreated eye problems in schools. The study is fascinating — you can read it here.

Each day we are presented with scientific evidence that suggests that vision problems are no respecter of persons. Your country of origination or societal status does not preclude you from vision challenges. Yet, while many developing countries have a more significant need for access to vision care, we know that 30% of the world’s children need intervention in the area of vision correction.

Today, I encourage you to get involved. Help us as we take the work of amazing people like Dr. Kovarski and make a difference in the lives of the world’s children. Join us as we are Giving Vision a Voice!

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