High Rates of Uncorrected Vision Conditions among Schoolchildren in Rural Queensland, Australia
This study reveals significant uncorrected vision issues among Australian secondary schoolchildren in rural areas, with a particular focus on the eye examination rates for Australian Indigenous children. The persistence of uncorrected vision problems throughout a student's educational journey has substantial implications for their overall well-being and academic performance. In this study, 280 students aged 4 to 18, with 40% identifying as Indigenous, underwent comprehensive eye examinations. Shockingly, the overall prevalence of uncorrected vision conditions was 35%. Notably, non-Indigenous children were 2.3 times more likely to have had prior eye exams compared to Indigenous children, even though both groups experienced high rates of uncorrected vision issues. Moreover, among children with significant refractive errors, a staggering 82% remained uncorrected, with only 39% of Indigenous and 54% of non-Indigenous children having received previous eye examinations. These findings underscore the pressing need to address factors influencing eye examination rates and adherence to corrective measures, given the potential impact of untreated vision conditions on these children.