Asm. Devon Mathis & Optometrists Partner for Children’s Vision, Success - California Optometric Association
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Asm. Devon Mathis & Optometrists Partner for Children’s Vision, Success

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 13, 2019

Contact: Jenna Thompson, COA, 916.444.7280, Jenna@paschalroth.com   

Asm. Devon Mathis & Optometrists Partner for Children’s Vision, Success

Strathmore, CA – Vision disorders are among the most prevalent disabling childhood conditions, and one in four children and adolescents have a vision problem that can impede their learning. That’s why on Saturday, Tulare County was the focus of a free mobile eye clinic to provide critical eye care to the community’s children.

Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) partnered with El Quinto Sol de America, VSP Global Eyes of Hope, Sunnyside Union Elementary School District and the California Optometric Association to help provide free eye care services to children in need in Tulare County.

“Eighty percent of learning happens through the eyes, so helping children see the blackboard, computer or textbooks clearly opens opportunities for learning,” said Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Visalia). “I’m proud I could help bring this opportunity for my youngest constituents to succeed by helping connect them with the care they need to prevent or correct eye and vision problems.”

“It’s critical all children receive an annual comprehensive eye exam, not just to receive an updated prescription for school, but because an eye exam is often where diseases like diabetes or eye cancers are first found,” said Ronald G. Seger O.D., F.A.A.O, President, California Optometric Association. “Comprehensive eye exams performed by an optometrist help provide Californians who are underserved by our health system essential care that can detect significant underlying eye conditions and systemic diseases that threaten our children’s vision and health.”

More than half of California’s population has diabetes or is at risk for developing the chronic, eye-sight robbing condition. The Sacramento Bee reported that the rate of diabetes deaths has grown “exponentially” in Californians under age 55. The cost of treating diabetes in California was $27 billion in 2012 alone, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Studies show nearly one in 20 diabetes patients has advanced diabetic retinopathy and is at significant risk of blindness, making diabetes a chief concern for California’s eye doctors. Diabetes is also of particular concern in the Latino community. Compared with non-Hispanic Whites, Latinos have twice the prevalence of diabetes and are twice as likely to die from their disease. Across the state, 36% of young adult Latinos are estimated to have prediabetes.

“El Quinto Sol de America believes access to a clear vision is a right for all children, no matter the background, race, or income,” said Irma Medellin, Organizer, El Quinto Sol de America. “We’re proud to partner with Assemblymember Mathis, COA, VSP Global Eyes of Hope and the Sunnyside Union Elementary School District to address the inequity that blurry vision can cause for Tulare County’s children.”

California’s insurance providers – Medi-Cal and private insurance providers – include coverage for annual, comprehensive eye exams and glasses for children.  

 

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