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Eye and Vision Care

Children wearing glasses

05/11/2006

Question:

Hi, I am working on my industrial design thesis which is about childrens eyeglasses, and I need help in getting some information My most important questions are how many children, or what percentage of children need glasses? how many times from 4 to 8 years old does a child change glasses? How many children have injuries due to eyeglasses? How can I acces these types of answers through the intenet? Thank you very much ;)

Answer:

All good questions, but complicated to answer because of the definition for "children." It varies depending upon the age of the child, the refractive status of the parents, and the racial profile, among many other variables. But if you were to average all of the many variables over the 0-18 year-old age group,

1. Studies show at birth, 25% of infants are nearsighted, 50% are farsighted, and 25% need no refractive correction. By age 10, the percentages are 8%, 6%, and 86%, respectively. But by age 15, they change again to 15%, 6%, and 79%.    

2. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends annual eye examinations for all patients under the age of 18. This is not just to measure visual acuity and refractive error, but also to monitor the developing eye's health status. 

3. When I was an optometry student many years ago, we did not have the newer and safer lens materials we have now (i.e., polycarbonate, trivex). But even then, eye injuries from glasses were less than 0.25%. Now, it is even less than that.

For additional information, please visit the AOA's website at www.aoa.org 

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Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University