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AOP: highlights the need for improved eye health services for patients with learning disabilities

People with a learning disability are at a high risk of eye problems compared with the rest of the population. This paper covers four areas:

The risk of eye conditions is much greater for those with learning disability.  Adults with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have a serious sight problem, and this increases to 28 times for children.3

However, many people with learning disabilities experience barriers in accessing eye care services. Reasons for this include:

  • Parents or carers thinking the person won’t benefit from a sight test, or won’t be able to have a sight test if they can’t read or have weak verbal skills
  • Symptoms of sight problems might not be noticed due to “diagnostic overshadowing” – this is where a problem is wrongly thought to be due to the person’s learning disability, rather than a separate condition
  • People with learning disabilities may find an optical practice setting, or any new or unfamiliar place, off-putting and intimidating or may have had negative experiences in the past

Read more here