According to the Prevent Blindness of Ohio (PBO), nearly 200,000 Ohioans are blind or visually impaired and 16% of Ohioans are at risk of losing their sight without early detection and professional treatment. Half of all blindness can be prevented, but the number of Ohioans who suffer vision loss continues to increase. Because of the growth in the aging population, there will be more than 2.5 million Ohioans affected by vision-robbing conditions by the year 2030. The primary causes are a cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (MD). In children, serious eye disorders include amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes). Eye injuries are another leading cause of permanent vision loss. Ninety percent are preventable with proper education and use of safety eyewear.
Healthy vision is important to your overall health and educational success. Healthy vision is something many take for granted. When it comes to eyes, “We get one pair and no spare.”
Good health is essential for good vision. You can lower your risk of eye disease and vision loss if you:
Many eye diseases, including those associated with diabetes, do not exhibit any initial symptoms before permanent vision loss can occur. An eye exam with pupil dilation is the best defense against undetected eye disease. Good sunglasses reduce glare and filter out 99-100% of ultraviolet rays. Sunglasses should protect your eyes, be comfortable and not distort colors. If you are 55 or older, you should get a dilated eye exam at least once every two years. If you have diabetes or other health problems, you may need to see an eye doctor more often.
Free Eye Exam
Clermont County Public Health (CCPH) works closely with PBO to assist Clermont County residents in getting a free eye exam and/or glasses. If you do not have a vision program through your insurance plan contact CCPH to see if you qualify for a free eye exam and glasses at 513-735-8400. Some insurance plans will cover the eye exam but not the glasses. Check with your insurance provider to see what coverage you might have before contacting CCPH. Anyone without vision insurance, that has a household income that is 200% of the current federal poverty guidelines or lower, qualifies for PBO services. Once approved for the program, a voucher is given to the participant to take to a local provider who donates their time and expertise to help with getting an exam and glasses.
“Through this program, I am now able to take my driver’s license exam for the first time in years,” stated a recent PBO participant. Safe driving requires complex visual process – abilities that may begin to decline as you age. A loss of your visual abilities could endanger you and others on the road. This is the type of impact the PBO can have on a community.
If you have any questions or need assistance with improving your eyesight, please contact Clermont County Public Health to see if you qualify for an eye exam and glasses.