Today, 1 in 4 children has an undiagnosed vision problem. Although, the chances of developing a vision problem are greater if there is a history of eyesight problems in your family, many children with no such family history encounter a troublesome vision issue.
Television is not the only culprit responsible for the deterioration of your child’s eyesight. Children are now spending an alarming amount of time in front of the computer screen. Optometrists warn that heavy computer usage is known to increase your chances of developing blurry and double vision.
Loss of vision is not to be taken lightly and the individuals who are most affected are children. A child’s untreated vision problem can lead to learning and behavioral problems. Teachers and parents often struggle trying to understand why a child is not doing well in school or why they are acting out in the classroom and at home. Many times the simple explanation is that the child cannot read the blackboard or even the pages in front of them. This frustrating situation can easily spiral out of control if not attended to.
Currently in several Canadian provinces, coverage for eye exams has been implemented. Provincial coverage differs, but most terms specify that eye exams are only covered once every two years and only if your child is under the age of 10. There are many healthcare specialists who believe this to be inadequate. It is impossible to gage when a child’s vision will begin to deteriorate, if at all, but factors such as heredity and increased exposure to computer and television screens may speed up the process. In order to properly monitor the health of your children’s eyes, it may be wise to plan a vision check-up more often than every two years. Unfortunately, visiting an optometrist every year can cost you as much as $150 for every eye examination if your province does not provide coverage. In order to fill the gaps left by provincial health coverage, it may be sensible to purchase health insurance for your children.
Without an employer health insurance plan, parents might want to consider supplemental vision insurance through a plan such as Flexcare offered by Manulife Financial which allows you to individually customize your coverage. Plans such as DentalPlus Basic or Enhanced allot you a specified amount of money towards vision-related services, or additional add-on vision insurance coverage.
In many cases, children are unaware that their eyesight is deteriorating. The untreated eye problem can result in learning and behavioral problems that negatively affect a child’s life. With proper attention to vision care, including regular check-ups, unforeseen problems can be avoided.