Good eye health key to learning

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Supporting Island Families -

Through the Eye See . . . Eye Learn® program, children entering kindergarten can receive a free eye exam, and a free pair of eye glasses if needed.

Eye See…Eye Learn® focuses on the prevention, early detection and management of eye and vision problems.

“Children often don’t complain of vision problems or, in some cases, are not even aware of them.  With 80 per cent of classroom learning being through seeing, and with more time being spent on digital devices at a younger age, it is important to a child’s learning that we identify any potential problems at an early age so that they can see properly,” says Dr. Jayne Toombs, optometrist and president of the Prince Edward Island Association of Optometrists. “We believe it is important that all children receive a comprehensive eye examination when entering school. It can give them the start they need to reach their full learning potential.”

Eye exams can identify health problems and conditions such as a turned or lazy eye. These conditions may be successfully treated if they are identified early in a child’s life. During the eye exam an optometrist will assess:

  • vision clarity;
  • nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism;
  • eye coordination, tracking and depth perception;
  • colour vision;
  • eye health; and,
  • review of family history, overall health, and lifestyle.

Children entering or currently enrolled in kindergarten this year can take advantage of the Eye See…Eye Learn® program until June 30, 2018. Parents can call their own optometrist today to book their child’s appointment for an eye exam, or visit the Prince Edward Island Association of Optometrists to find one nearest you.

“Going to the doctor, going to an optometrist, are all part of taking care of your health," said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson. "Eye exams at every age and life stage can help keep your vision strong. The Eye See…Eye Learn® program removes the cost barriers for families, so that every child can get their vision tested and receive a pair of glasses if needed. There is an important link between eye health and education, and the Eye See...Eye Learn® program helps to ensure that our young students get the best start to learning.”

The Eye See… Eye Learn program is provided by the provincial government through Health PEI in partnership with the Prince Edward Island Association of Optometrists and eyewear sponsors VisionTech Labs PEI and Bo Optics.

Health PEI covers any cost associated with the eye exam that is not covered in whole or in part by the family’s private insurance. Families without private insurance will have the entire cost of the eye exam covered. Free eye glasses are provided to those in need by the Prince Edward Island Association of Optometrists.

Since the program began in 2015, nearly 1,800 Island children have access the program, of which 23 per cent were recommended for eye glasses. Approximately 40 per cent of families who have accessed the Eye See…Eye Learn® program did not have private insurance coverage.  

For more information about the Eye See…Eye Learn® program or call (902) 368-5819 


Media contact:
Amanda Hamel
Senior Communications Officer
Health PEI
(902) 368-6135

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