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Pediatric Eye Care

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While many associate declining vision as a symptom of older age, it’s important to note that children need access to vision care just as much as adults. However, a study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology stated that pediatric vision screenings decreased by an estimated 13% between 2016 and 2020.

Pediatric eye care is crucial for many reasons, including the impact of unchecked poor vision on learning. Proper diagnoses, care, and accommodations (such as glasses and contacts) can help children with vision concerns better acclimate to their learning environments. In turn, this can contribute to a significant boost in their quality of life, continuing into adulthood. So, why would there be such a decline in treatment?

The study’s authors indicated that this decline, which only grew starker after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, may be attributed to a lack of access for patients. Limited access and unmet needs have become a major issue in the United States for not only vision care, but many forms of healthcare.

The authors of the study recommended that further studies be conducted to determine whether this lack of access could be associated with health insurance status. Once complete, the results of these studies could contribute to major policy decisions that would increase access to pediatric vision care for children across the United States–and hopefully, to better eye health for all.

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