Eyeglasses distributed to children at Albina Head Start
After recognizing the need for increased access to eyeglasses for Portland youth, local doctors and healthcare providers are on a mission to help provide those in need with better vision for a healthier future.
When doctors and staff from the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at the Casey Eye Institute performed free eye exams for children in the Albina Head Start program this month, 25 children left with the need for eye glasses, which could prevent them from lifelong eye troubles in the future.
Students throughout the area received “kid-proof” glasses at Highland Head Start last week in northeast Portland, after they participated in Elks Preschool Vision Screening Program on April 12, when ten free pairs of glasses were distributed to children ages three to five and 15 more given at below half-price.
Myoptic Optometry and modern eyewear, located in north Portland on Williams, provided the glasses.
“Children who can’t see well can’t live and learn to their potential,” said Dr. Summy To, who leads Myoptic Optometry. “And this affects us all. We believe strongly in community and in supporting important causes such as this, the Elks preschool vision screening program, in our community.”
Although the Elks preschool vision and screening program, which is offered by the Casey Eye Institute, has been ongoing for years, this is the first year glasses have been provided to the children in need in an effort to prevent a lifetime of eye conditions, which could have been prevented.
According to OHSU, fifteen percent of all children are at risk of developing amblyopia, also known as ‘lazy eye’, between the ages of three and five.
This condition requires treatment before the age of seven to avoid long-term damage, but if left untreated, may lead to a lifetime of unnecessary vision impairment and possibly blindness.
While some school districts offer vision-screening programs for school age children, formal screening should begin at age three to ensure good vision, which is essential for proper physical development and educational progress.
Early detection provides the best opportunity for effective, inexpensive treatment, they said.