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Vision Problems Growing Among Preschoolers

A growing number of U.S. children may develop vision problems before they reach kindergarten, according to a study that suggests eye screenings will become increasingly important for the preschool set.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from U.S. census records and from eye exams on about 12,000 kids under 6 years old. Nationwide, researchers estimated that more than 174,000 kids from 3 to 5 years old had vision impairment as of 2015 and projected that their ranks will swell by 26 percent to more than 220,000 by 2060.

Most of these kids have what’s known as refractive errors, or difficulties focusing on things either up close or far away, that can be often be corrected with glasses. This means parents should take kids for at least one comprehensive eye exam by age 3 and watch for signs of vision issues, said lead study author Dr. Rohit Varma, director of the Roski Eye Institute and dean at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

“Parents should watch out for signs such as sitting close to the TV or holding a book too close, squinting, tilting their head, frequently rubbing their eyes, short attention span for the child’s age, turning of an eye in or out, sensitivity to light, difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding, or avoiding coloring activities, puzzles and other detailed activities,” Varma said by email.

“If children display such symptoms or behaviors then they should certainly get an eye examination,” Varma added.

Hispanic children were most likely to have vision problems, researchers report in JAMA Ophthalmology. As of 2015, Hispanic kids accounted for 38 percent of vision impairment cases, and researchers estimated this proportion would climb to 44 percent by 2060 aided by higher birth rates in this population relative to other racial and ethnic groups.

Based on changing demographics across the country, the second most-affected group is expected to shift from non-Hispanic white kids, who represented 26 percent of cases in 2015, dropping to 16.5 percent in 2060, to African American kids, representing 25 percent of cases in 2015 and 22 percent in 2060, according to the researchers.

The states projected to have the most children with vision impairment by 2060 are California, Texas and Florida, all of which have large Hispanic populations.

Overall, the types of vision problems found in kids are projected to remain little changed by 2060, however.

Refractive errors will make up about 70 percent of cases by 2060, followed by amblyopia, or lazy eye, accounting for 24 percent. About 6 percent of cases will result from eye disease.

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One limitation of the study is the reliance on census records with self-reported data on race and ethnicity, the authors note. Researchers also assumed the prevalence of impaired vision within different racial and ethnic groups would not change over time, so increases and decreases are based just on population changes.

Still, the findings should serve as a reminder to parents not to wait to get children’s eyes checked until kids complain about their vision, said Dr. Janet Leasher of the Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“Many children don’t know that the way they see may not be normal, and the only way to find out is to have them assessed by a qualified eye care professional,” Leasher, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “There are pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists who specialize in children’s vision, but any eye doctor can conduct the tests necessary to determine if there is a problem.”

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The information herein on "Vision Problems Growing Among Preschoolers" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Vision Problems Growing Among Preschoolers" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

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