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Lloyd Cuzzo, Jesse Berry, Peter Quiros; Unmet Need for Corrective Eyeglasses: Follow-up Results from a Los Angeles County Hospital Survey. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):2338.
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To demonstrate that donated eyeglasses can be used for vision correction in settings where patients cannot afford to purchase prescription glasses.
Patients at the Los Angeles County (LAC) Ophthalmology clinic who were identified as having refractive error were manifest refracted and prescribed glasses over a one-month period. Those who could not afford glasses were given glasses from a donated glasses collection in the clinic. Donated glasses with closest prescription to their manifest refraction were given to the patients. Visual acuity (VA) was recorded without glasses, with manifest refraction (MRx), and with donated glasses. VA before and after glasses were converted to logMAR. This study was approved by the University of Southern California iSTAR Internal Review Board and the methods were in accordance with the guidelines of Declaration of Helsinki.
The results presented in this study come from the first month of dispensing glasses from a donated eyeglasses program. During the month, 7 patients (14 eyes) were refracted and then provided recycled glasses. Two of the eyes had a VA of no light perception and thus were excluded from the study. Of the 12 eyes included in the study, the average logmar VA before glasses was 0.93 which correlates to a snellen VA of 20/170 (range 20/30-20/400). The average best corrected logmar VA after MRx was 0.32, correlating to snellen VA of 20/42 (range 20/25-20/100). With donated glasses the average logmar was 0.41 correlating to a snellen VA of 20/50 (range 20/30-20/100). Five of the 7 patients (71%) had a VA less than the level required for driving (20/40 or better in at least one eye) without glasses but were able to attain ‘driving’ vision with donated glasses. Three of the 7 (43%) patients were previously legally blind without corrective refractive lenses (20/200 or worse in both eyes) but with donated lenses improved on average to 20/70.
Previously the authors have demonstrated that cost is a major factor in preventing low-income, un- or under-insured patients at LAC Hospital from obtaining prescription eyeglasses. Donated eyeglasses are a functional, cost effective means for significantly correcting refractive error. In many patients they can restore vision necessary to drive and can improve legally blind vision to a highly functional level.
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