Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prevent Blindness Ohio offers free vision care

Unemployment and the economy many Northeast Ohioans are not only without healthcare they don't have vision care either.

Some may be putting themselves at risk for losing their sight altogether. Like thousands of northeast Ohioans Deneen King lost her job and health insurance. As if that's not bad enough she noticed her vision weakening too.

"I'm having a lot of blur I can't pick up a paper and read it it's like I'm pulling the paper back," Deneen says.

Each day Dr. Joyce Ramsue has about 23 patients like Deneen scheduled for eye exams at NEON, Northeast Ohio's Neighborhood Health clinic. Many of them are receiving care thanks to the non-profit organization, Prevent Blindness Ohio.

Last year, PBO provided eye exams, glasses and surgeries to 6,623 Ohioans, 1,133 in this region.

"So many patients are out of work at this point so they are very grateful to come in and pay thirty dollars to get a pair of glasses," Dr. Ramsue says.

In some cases patients are close to losing their sight. "When they come in to see me their pressures are very high and they're at risk for blindness because they didn't have their eyes examined," Dr. Ramsue says.

For little or no cost Dr. Ramsue and PBO helps patients get what they need. "I can also get drops for free some of the labs pharmaceutical companies will provide free eye drops for patients so I do that on a daily basis," Dr. Ramsue says.

PBO works with a network of eye doctors like Dr. Ramsue who provide free eye exams to patients. Call PBO at 440-842-1284 for more information.

For those who go through the Prevent Blindness Ohio program, eye exams are free, however there may be a nominal fee for glasses and prescription medication. Although if you qualify some prescriptions may be as low as $7.50.

Next Wednesday, September 30th, PBO is having its biggest annual fundraiser at the Intercontinental Hotel, 9810 Carnegie Ave. The People of Vision Awards Dinner provides funding to supply the uninsured or underinsured with eye care. Tickets are still available. The events starts at 5:30 pm.

For more information click on the link or contact the local chapter of Prevent Blindness Ohio at 440.842.1284.

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