Vision problems are very common across the United States, and Ohio is no different.
According to the Ohio Department of Health’s Save Our Sight program, “up to 15 percent of preschool children have an eye or vision condition that, if not corrected, can result in reduced vision. Twenty-five percent of school-aged children have a vision problem, and up to 5 percent percent of children have amblyopia (lazy eye).”
According to Prevent Blindness Ohio, nearly 2 million Ohioans are facing visual impairment and blindness in the 40-plus population. Prevent Blindness Ohio’s motto is “You Only Get One Pair and No Spare.” This is very fitting because many vision problems and eye diseases are not reversible.
Children may have a hard time expressing they are having trouble seeing. Look for the following: eyes don’t line up or looks crossed or outward, watery/red eyes, squinting, tilts/thrusts head forward, holds objects close to eyes to see, blinking more than usual, and reports things are blurry or hard to see.
The Meigs County Health Department has programs that help residents to access vision concerns.
First, we have a program for children through ODH that helps with transportation to/from vision appointments. Funding for this program is limited, so the service is first come, first serve.
Second, the MCHD also helps facilitate a program called Prevent Blindness Ohio. This program is for both children and adults and is income-based. Financial guidelines are at 200 percent of the federal poverty level for family size compared to yearly income: 1 – $23,760; 2 – $32,040; 3 – $40,320; 4 – $48,600; 5 – $56,880; 6 – $65,160; 7 – $73,460; 8 – $81,780. For each additional person, add $8,320.
This program helps residents with eye exams and glasses. Local eye doctors contract with PBO to provide these free exams and PBO-approved glasses. The final program we host is children with medical handicaps, formerly BCMH. Also income-based, this program will help diagnose and treat certain eye problems.
For more information on CMH, call Angie Rosler, RN, at 740-992-6626. For the other programs discussed, call me at 740-992-6626.
Leanne Cunninghamn is a registered nurse at the Meigs County Health Department.