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Optometrist says regular eye exams impact learning

Last Updated Oct 18, 2020 at 2:50 pm PST

FILE - The Surrey Board of Trade wants actions to prioritize childcare in the throne speech. (iStock Photo)
Summary

An optometrist about the importance of eye exams and how they can impact learning

Research shows some Canadian children who experience untreated vision problems lead to slower rates of learning

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As October marks Children’s Vision Month, one optometrist explains the importance of yearly eye exams and how that can impact learning.

Dr. Justin Asgarpour is the chairperson at the College of Optometrists of BC and says fewer than 14 per cent of kids under the age of six have had their eyes checked.

“Sometimes with the children, it’s hard for us to get objective inputs from the child, so we want to do some tests that are more objective in nature. Making sure that works, we’re able to screen for different visual conditions without unnecessary inputs from the child.”

Asgarpour says research has found that nearly 25 per cent of Canadian children experience vision problems that, if left untreated, lead to slower learning rates and higher risks of dropping out of school.

“Eighty per cent of this learning is actually visual, and when we don’t have proper vision — when we have an optimized division at the child with the potential need for vision appliances like glasses or contact lenses — we’re potentially stunting that growth.”

And when it comes to adults, Asgarpour says eye exams are recommended every year or two.