New Survey Shows Parents Know More About Lice Than They Do About Myopia

One in four children in the United States is myopic, but according to The Harris Poll survey results released today by CooperVision, only 33% of parents know what that term means, or how it can affect their children’s future eyesight. The survey was conducted among eye care professionals, including 155 optometrists and 158 ophthalmologists, and 1,005 parents with children between 8-15 years old regarding their knowledge of myopia.

“I am not surprised that 48% of parents noted they know less about their children’s eye health than they should,” says Dr. Rupa K. Wong, a board-certified pediatric ophthalmologist. “I have diagnosed an increasing number of children with myopia in the past 5-10 years, and my patients’ parents are often surprised with the diagnosis. With the help of yearly eye exams, the condition can be diagnosed and treated to avoid more severe eye problems later in life by slowing the progression.”

“We know there is a lot of confusion about the significance of myopia, how it progresses and how to treat it,” says Dr. Michele Andrews, Senior Director, North America Professional and Academic Affairs at CooperVision. “So it comes as no surprise that while 65% of parents claimed they were somewhat or very knowledgeable of myopia, only one in three were able to identify myopia as nearsightedness. There clearly needs to be more education about what childhood myopia is and why it is important to diagnose it early.”

More highlights from the survey include:

  • 97% of eye care professionals agree parents should know more about the ways they can help protect their children’s vision
  • 73% of parents strongly/somewhat agree that teachers are more likely to notice that children have vision problems ; 68% of parents strongly/somewhat agree that school nurses often notice potential vision problems among children before parents
  • Parents say they are more knowledgeable about other childhood conditions including the flu (93%), ear infections (86%) and lice (80%) compared with their knowledge of myopia (65%)
  • 22% of parents report the top reason prompting an ECP visit is an in-school eye screening, whereas 92% of ECPs state this is the top reason for parents seeing them for their child’s vision.

Click HERE for the full press release.

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