WORLD OPTOMETRY WEEK 2024 – Optometry Ireland


Issued by the Optometry Ireland

Tuesday March 19, 2024.

Optometrists want to end geographic lottery in children’s eye-care

Irish Optometrists have said they can enable equal access to eye-examinations for children in all regions of the country – to mark World Optometry Week which takes place this week (March 17-24).

Optometry Ireland (OI) said there is a geographical lottery in public eye-care for 8-16 years with no public programme for this age group, long waiting times and a lottery of access in different regions of the country.

Optometry Ireland CEO Seán McCrave said, “All children in Ireland should have access to a State provided yearly eye exam programme until they are 16, and Optometrists have the expertise and capacity to provide this.”

OI President Tania Constable said the theme of World Optometry Week in 2024 was for profession to progress its contribution to making eye-care more accessible and to improve health.

“There is a major gap in children’s eye-care in Ireland, as we do not have a State programme for 8-16 year olds. Optometrists have made a detailed submission to Government on this and we are calling for urgent progress, in order to prevent avoidable eye problems that can affect children’s learning.

“Optometry Ireland is today calling on the Government and HSE to implement a dedicated national eye-care programme for 8-16 years olds which is consistent across all regions.”

Optometry Ireland represents 700 Optometrists and 350 practices across the country, and she said that an Optometrist led programme would be community based and accessible for all families.

Ms. Constable also encouraged parents to be aware of monitoring their children’s eye health. “Children can’t always articulate when something is wrong, and the earlier an adult can detect a problem with their child’s vision, the better. Look out for children sitting closer to the TV, rubbing their eyes more, or complaining of headaches.

There is no more straightforward way for to look after your eyes than by going for a routine eye examination, which is recommended every year for children and every two years for adults.

More information on World Optometry Week is available here.

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.

Optometry Ireland (OI) is the professional representative body for the vast majority of practising Optometrists in Ireland, including 700 members in 350 locations nationwide. OI works to ensure the highest possible standards in provision of clinical and dispensing eye-care services to the public.

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