The Important Item You Might be Missing on Your Back-to-School Checklist

Eye Health, Featured Article, VSP
on August 13, 2015
Children Eye Glasses

With summer coming to a close and the new school year on the horizon, make sure you’re not missing something important on your child’s back-to-school checklist. In addition to notebooks, pencils and a new lunch box, an eye exam should be at the top of your back-to-school checklist every year—just like an annual physical.

Poor eyesight can negatively affect your child’s performance in the classroom. In fact, over ten million American students have vision conditions that impact learning.

“The simple act of getting an eye exam has profound and immediate effects on a child’s life,” said Dr. Robert L. Bass, a VSP Vision Care optometrist. “I hear about young students who stopped looking at the board simply because they couldn’t see it, or who wouldn’t stop talking in class due to the frustration of not being able to see properly. Dramatic turnarounds occur when a child’s eyesight is examined and glasses are prescribed.”

More than 60 percent of children with learning problems have undiagnosed vision problems. Right now, when you purchase an individual vision insurance plan from VSP Direct™ for as little as $17/month, a child in need receives a free eye exam and glasses. Find out more at

Seventy-six percent of children haven’t received a comprehensive eye exam before starting kindergarten. It’s important to proactively and consistently schedule annual eye exams because you may not be aware that your child is having trouble with his or her eyesight until they see an optometrist.

When Amy F.’s young daughter, Madeline, put on her first pair of glasses, Amy was shocked when they walked outside the doctor’s office and Madeline exclaimed, “Look at those big mountains, Mommy!”

“We’d lived there for five years,” says Amy, “It broke my heart that I had no idea my daughter had never been able to see the mountains before.”

With individual vision insurance plans from VSP Direct™, you’ll receive both an eye exam and prescription lenses or contacts. Right now, your purchase provides a child in need with a free eye exam and glasses. Find out more at

Fifteen million kids go back to school every year with undiagnosed vision problems. Farsightedness, astigmatism or other issues can be revealed by an eye exam. All of the above conditions interfere with your child’s reading and everyday activities. About twenty percent of children struggle to read because of vision problems. The resulting frustration can permanently damage a child’s determination to succeed, both inside and outside the classroom.

“It’s essential to make comprehensive eye exams a priority each school year to protect children’s eye and vision health,” said Dr. Bass.

Affordable individual vision insurance can be purchased from VSP Direct™ for as little as $17/month. Right now, your purchase also helps a child in need receive a free eye exam and glasses. Find out more at

While symptoms may not present themselves clearly at home, vision problems can manifest at school in the form of poor behavior or lack of interest in certain activities. The importance of proper eye care can’t be overstated. As it stands, a staggering one in four children have an undetected vision problem. Regular exams and proper eye care are the key to ensuring students are given every opportunity to excel in the classroom.

VSP Direct™ is an individual vision insurance product provided through VSP® Vision Care, offering affordable and high-quality individual vision benefits directly to consumers. Individual vision coverage includes an annual eye exam with a copayment, allowance for glasses or contacts, and access to the largest independent doctor network in the industry with 32,000 doctors—all backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. VSP Direct offers the lowest out-of-pocket costs in vision care and a typical annual savings over $200 a year.

Insurance policies have exclusions and limitations. For costs and complete details of the coverage contact VSP at 800.785.0699.