South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

March is PA ‘Save Your Vision' Month

 


To encourage all citizens to take steps to ensure the health and safety of their eyes, Governor Edward G. Rendell proclaimed March as Save Your Vision Month.

President George W. Bush also proclaimed March as Save Your Vision Month, which marks the 80th national observation of the event. Save Your Vision Month is proclaimed each year to focus the public's attention on the vital role that vision plays in daily living and the importance of professional eye care to preserve good vision.

“Regular eye care is essential, even if patients don't think they have an eye or vision problem,” said Dr. Barbara M. Yanak, president of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association.

“Eye health problems that don't have noticeable symptoms in the initial stages, as well as early signs of general health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, can be detected during a comprehensive eye examination. Save Your Vision Month is an excellent time to talk to your optometrist about any vision or eye health concerns you have and to schedule overdue eye examinations.”

During Save Your Vision Month, parents should also be thinking about their children's vision. “Children assume everyone sees like they do,” said Dr. Yanak. “Since most vision problems do not hurt and children don't know how they are supposed to see, they rarely complain. Therefore, it is essential for parents to take their children for professional eye examinations.”

To help meet the visual needs of children, many Pennsylvania optometrists are involved in InfantSEE™, a program sponsored by the American Optometric Association in partnership with The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care that provides free eye assessments to infants under the age of 12 months.

The American Optometric Association recommends an exam between six and 12 months of age to determine if an infant is at risk for eye or vision disorders. Since many eye problems arise from conditions that can be identified by an eye doctor in the infant's first year of life, a parent can give an infant a great gift by seeking an InfantSEE assessment in addition to the wellness evaluation of the eyes that is done by a pediatrician or family practice doctor. For additional information about InfantSEE, visit http://www.infantsee.org.

In addition, POA developed the Kids Welcome Here® campaign, a commitment by optometrists to ensure that children have the best possible vision and vision skills to use in their educational years and future lives. Through Kids Welcome Here, information about the importance of regular pediatric vision care is provided to parents, schools and others providing care to children.

Children need regular eye care, just as adults do. In addition to an infant exam, children should have an exam at age three to ensure that potential vision problems are detected while they are still most responsive to treatment. Children at this age are examined for lazy eye, crossed eyes, eye movement skills, focusing and binocular vision skills as well as visual acuity.

It is also important for children to have an eye examination at age five before they enter school to make sure they have the vision skills necessary for learning. Once children are in school, exams are needed at least every other year because their eyes change as they grow.

For more information on eyes and vision, visit http://www.poaeyes.org.

 

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