(KUTV) World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness organized by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year, it is being observed on October 10.
Q: How can people figure out if they may be experiencing vision problems?
A: A good start is a simple eye screening. Diagnosing eye problems can start with this first step in many cases.
People might be surprised to learn that most screenings take about two to four minutes per person. Using a machine similar to the one used by the Drivers License Division, people can wear their contacts or glasses to determine their effectiveness, and may be screened for the following:
-Near and Far Visual Acuity (from a range of 20/200 to 20/20)
-Signs of Amblyopia
-Reading Range: A near vision chart is used to validate weather a person's reading range is working for them.
Signs of Glaucoma: A non-contact puff tonometry is used to measure pressure in the front of the eye, which doesn't determine glaucoma, but can indicated early signs of possible glaucoma if out of the normal pressure range, which is the third most common eye disease.
People may discover in a screening that they might benefit from making an appointment with an eye doctor if a screening reveals they may have some vision issues.
Q: How often should people get their eyes checked?
A: Most kids will start having eye exams when they start school, although it's fine to bring kids in for a checkup even earlier, especially if you suspect your child may be experiencing vision difficulties.
Early diagnosis and treatment of eye problems can help save vision. But even without a family history of eye disease, the risk factors go up as you get older: People 30-40 years old should get an eye exam every three to four years; people age 50, every two years; and people age 60 and older, every year.
Q: You work at the Moran Eye Center, which provides many free eye exams throughout the year to people in the community. How can people get in touch with you?
You can learn about when free community vision screenings are coming up by visiting the Moran Eye Center's website at http://healthcare.utah.edu/moran/
. You can also call 801-581-2352 to make an appointment with one of our doctors if you'd like to schedule an exam on your own.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)