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Laetitia Truong, Brett Briggs, Lee Weiner, Nizar Mamdani, Omofolasade Kosoko-Lasaki; Effectiveness of Low-Cost Glasses Distribution in the USA, Guatemala, Ghana, Cambodia, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):3970.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Uncorrected refractive error is the leading cause of visual impairment globally. The WHO estimates that 153 million people worldwide live with uncorrected refracted error. This ocular problem has been shown to have enormous social and economic outcomes in addition to limiting educational opportunities for children and consequently translates to poverty. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of low-cost First Sight® eyeglasses in reducing the societal burden and improving access to treating refractive error.
Over the summer of 2014 and 2015, medical students from Creighton University School of Medicine and under the direction of OKL, an ophthalmologist, performed vision screenings in health clinics and schools in Nebraska (USA), Guatemala, Ghana, Cambodia, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. Demographic information was obtained on the subjects such as age, gender, education, occupation, and medical history. The subjects were screened for refractive error using a tumbling E chart for children and adults. Individuals were fitted with First Sight® eyeglasses using a trial lens flipper after the refractive error was determined with a trial lens. The vision with the eye glasses was also confirmed after fitting.
A thousand individuals were examined but only 178 (mean age of 11 and 43 in children and adults respectively) were fitted with distance-prescription glasses supplied by First Sight®. A hundred percent of the participants showed an improvement in their visual acuity. Of those patients, 62%(n= 111) were female and 36.6% (n=65) were male. Moreover, of the 356 lenses dispensed, -1 Diopters was the most prevalent corrective lens prescribed. Finally, in Guatemala, the most common condition associated with refractive error was a family history of visual difficulties.
Using low-cost equipment in a global setting to detect refractive error and provide eyeglasses for less than $4.50 a pair, individuals with uncorrected refractive error have benefitted from the devastating effects of uncorrected visual acuity.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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