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Eye Health from A – Z

Did You Know?

Vision problems affect nearly
13.5 million children in the U.S.

Students, especially young ones, may not know

that what they are experiencing is a vision problem

Leads to frustration and worsening academic performance

75% of all blindness and vision impairment is either

preventable or treatable
• Discovering vision problems
Start Young! early on in a child’s life is an
important part of helping him
or her do well in school.
• Avoid frustration
• Make reading easier
• Make learning more
• In the case of some vision
conditions, early detection
and treatment is the only way
to prevent loss of sight in the
afflicted eye
Common Eye Disorders in Children
Nearsightedness (myopia)
• Most common visual problem among students
• Close objects are clear, far-away objects are blurry
• Students may squint to see blackboard or
presentation materials
• Can be corrected with corrective lenses such as
glasses or contact lenses
Farsightedness (hyperopia) Astigmatism
• Close objects are blurry, far-away • Often co-occurs with nearsightedness
objects are clear or farsightedness
• Students may squint while reading or • A type of refractive error caused by an
hold reading material farther away abnormally shaped cornea
from face than normal • Can be corrected with corrective
• Can be corrected with corrective lenses such as glasses or contact
lenses such as glasses lenses
Common Eye Disorders in Children
Strabismus Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
• Issue with eye muscles • One eye is stronger than the other
• Student’s eyes appear to be • Student may show signs of
focusing on two different points strabismus, but the two do not
• Often co-occurs with amblyopia always co-occur
• Glasses or eye muscle exercises • Over time, the brain may begin to
can treat strabismus. Sometimes disregard signals from the weaker
surgery is needed. eye
• If it is not detected early,
amblyopia can lead to a
permanent loss of sight in the
weaker eye
• This disorder is only detectable
through an eye exam from an
optometrist or ophthalmologist
Common Eye Disorders In Seniors
• By age 65, one in three Americans have some vision-impairing eye
• Most don’t know it—often there are no early warning signs
• Poor sight is not a natural part of aging
• You can take measures to
preserve your sight
• Have eye disease detected and
treated early
• Visit an eye doctor at least every
1-2 years
Common Eye Conditions in Seniors
• Presbyopia
• Diminished ability to focus on near objects
• Results in need for reading glasses or bifocals
• Dimming of vision
• Slight loss of retinal function
• Beginning cataract(s)
• Cataract(s)
• Caused by eye’s lens becoming
• Smoking increases incidence of
some types
• Nearly everyone will have them by age 90
Common Eye Conditions in Seniors
• Dry eye
• Caused by insufficient tears or by eyelid inflammation
• Persistently painful, stinging or itchy eyes
• Glaucoma
• Gradually destroys optic nerve
• Peripheral (side) vision lost first
• Essential for seniors to have comprehensive
eye exam at least every 1-2 years
• AMD (age-related macular degeneration)
• Leading cause of blindness and
irreversible vision loss in seniors
• Gradually destroys central retina (macula)
needed for sharp vision
• Three times more common in smokers
Facts about Eye
Health – Worldwide
• Somewhere in the world, someone goes
blind every 5 seconds.
• A child goes blind every minute.
• 80% of all blindness is preventable or curable.
• It is estimated that at least 7 million people
go blind every year.
• Worldwide some 180 million people are blind or visually disabled—the
equivalent of two-thirds of the entire U.S. population.
• Rates of blindness will double by the year 2020 unless prevention efforts are
• People in developing countries represent 90 percent of the world’s blind
population and are 10 times more likely to go blind than those in developed
• Africa averages just one ophthalmologist for every 1.25 million people
Facts about Eye Health
in America
• By age 65, one in three Americans has some form of vision impairing eye
• Of the 119 million people in the United States who are age 40 or over, 3.4
million are visually impaired or blind. This level of blindness and visual
impairment costs more than $4 billion annually in benefits and lost
• In California, over 13,000,000 people are age 40 or over, and 356,000 are
visually impaired or blind. This represents approximately 10% of all visual
impairment and blindness in the United States.
• People with diabetes are 25 times more likely to become blind than
people without diabetes.
• Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States,
and the most common cause of blindness among African Americans.
• Nearly three million people have glaucoma, but half do not realize it
because there are often no warning symptoms