I was 7 the first time I got frustrated in class because I was having trouble seeing the whiteboard from most areas of the room. I didn’t realize that my eyes were worse than the other kids because I had nothing to reference – I had assumed that it must have been something I was doing. It wasn’t until I brought it up to my mom that I was brought to my first optometrist appointment and fitted with a pair of glasses. My life changed – I was seeing the world through literally a new lens.
I was shocked to learn that 1 in 4 children in the U.S. has a vision problem that affects their ability to learn. It’s easy to forget that vision is among the most overlooked factors that impact children’s successful development in school.
I first started wearing glasses only during class, but the desire to have better sight all day long tempted me to start wearing contact lenses everyday when I was 11. The last 24 years, I was in contacts nearly every single day, and it wasn’t until last year that I started primarily wearing glasses again. I actually enjoy having stylish frames and the flexibility of wearing glasses. I saw it as a way to express my personality in a new and authentic way, and it made me realize how much I had taken for granted the ability to correct my vision as soon as it became a problem.
Having decades of outstanding eye care is something that I understand is a privilege – something that I know firsthand the impact it can have in a child’s life. I viscerally remember my frustration and difficulty understanding the problems I was having with my vision as a child, and I can’t imagine how different my quality of life would have been had I not been able to access those resources.
Not all families have the ability to provide proper eye care for their children. When money is tight, vision care is among the first things to slip through the cracks. That’s where Essilor Vision Foundation comes in crucially. Since 2007, EVF has helped more than 1 million people realize their vision potential with a pair of glasses. Families never receive a bill from EVF, and the foundation relies on donations to help families and children in need receive proper care and glasses at vital points in their young lives.
Since I have worn glasses for so long, I was able to provide guidance to my wife as she got her first pair of glasses when she realized that her eyesight had diminished after having our first son. Now Fox is turning 5 years old, and I’m constantly monitoring his vision whenever I have the opportunity. I know bad eyesight runs in my family, so making sure we’re on top of his care and development is a top priority.
And that’s why it’s so important to provide a donation to EVF – millions of children are living through blurry eyesight at a critical time of their lives and nearly a fourth of parents can’t afford a full vision exam for their children. Your donation will go directly to providing vision exams and a pair of glasses to those that need it the most.