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Stephen S Jennings OD on YELP
American Eye-Q Survey:
Adults Not Making The
Grade When It Comes To Eye Care Knowledge.
As millions of students nationwide head back to
school, the American Optometric Association's first American Eye-Q (TM) survey
finds parents lack important knowledge about eye health and vision care.
While millions of children will start school this year with a vision problem
that may inhibit their ability to learn, 44 percent of parents are not aware
that behavioral problems can be an indication that a child's vision is impaired.
The survey also revealed that only one in 10 parents adhere to the American
Optometric Association's recommendations that an infant be examined before his
or her first birthday. Nearly one-third (29 percent) of all children have never
been to an eye doctor.
"Vision is a key factor in the growth, development and daily performance of
children," said Andrea Thau, O.D., of the American Optometric Association. "One
of the most important things parents can do to help ensure their child's ability
to learn is to take them for a comprehensive eye exam."
Since vision changes can occur without a parent or child noticing them, children
should visit a doctor of optometry at least every two years, or more frequently,
if specific problems or risk factors exist. Regular eye exams, starting when a
child is six months old, can help ensure parents that their child's vision is
The survey, which evaluated adults' level of knowledge and their behaviors
associated with eye care, revealed that parents should practice better eye care
behaviors when it comes to their children. It also showed they should take
better care of their own eye health.
Americans admit that their eyesight is one of their most valued attributes, yet
62 percent of Americans who do not currently wear glasses or contacts have not
been to an eye doctor in the past two years. Nearly 20 percent of adults have
never been to an eye doctor.
"Just like a child, an adult's eyesight can change rapidly and frequently,
particularly in older adults," said Dr. Thau. "When you consider how many
systemic diseases and disorders can be detected, it is imperative that adults
visit their optometrist as often as their children."
More than 60 percent of adults knew that diabetes and hypertension are
detectable through comprehensive eye exams; however, only 23 percent were aware
that symptoms of multiple sclerosis also may be detected through a comprehensive
The survey also revealed that considerable misconceptions exist around behaviors
that may be harmful to one's eyes. More than eight out of 10 adults believe that
sitting too close to the television and reading under dim lights will affect
their vision. While they both may cause headaches, they won't weaken a person's
eyesight. Smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine, however, can be harmful on the
"Several common behaviors, including the foods we eat, affect vision," said Dr.
Thau. "Nutrition is important to maintain good eye health, and surprisingly,
Americans can do better."
As parents pack their children's lunch for school, 70 percent of Americans
mistakenly believe that carrots are the best food for their eye health, when in
fact it has been proven that while carrots are good for the eyes, spinach and
broccoli are better foods for eye health. Eating the equivalent of a half cup of
cooked spinach four to seven times per week can help protect against age-related
macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It
would take four pounds of carrots or 17 cups of iceberg lettuce to meet the same
About the survey:
The American Eye-Q (TM) survey was created by the American Optometric
Association in conjunction with Opinion Research Corporation. Using a random
digit dialing methodology, ORC interviewed 1,000 Americans 18 years and older
who embodied a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. The margin
of error is +/- 3.1 percent for the general population. All data is weighted to
represent the U.S. general populations with respect to age, gender and
About the American Optometric Association (AOA):
The American Optometric Association represents more than 34,000 doctors of
optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians.
Optometrists provide more than two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United
States and serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country. In
3,500 of those communities they are the only eye doctors.
American Optometric Association doctors of optometry are highly qualified,
trained doctors on the frontline of eye and vision care who examine, diagnose,
treat and manage diseases and disorders of the eye. In addition to providing eye
and vision care, optometrists play a major role in a patient's overall health
and well-being by detecting systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
Prior to optometry school, optometrists typically complete four years of
undergraduate study, culminating in a bachelor's degree with extensive, required
coursework in areas such as advanced health, science and mathematics. Optometry
school consists of four years of post-graduate, doctoral study concentrating on
both the eye and systemic health. In addition to their formal training, doctors
of optometry must undergo annual continuing education to stay current on the
latest standards of care. For more information, visit
American Optometric Association: http://www.aoa.org
Article Dated: August 2, 2006 from: