MOBILE EYE CLINICS

MEC Van

Did you know?

  • Vision loss costs Canadians $15.8 billion a year                             
  • 50,000 Canadians lose their vision each year
  • 75% of vision loss is entirely avoidable

 

Why Mobile Eye Clinics (MEC)?

 Mobile Eye Clinics take comprehensive eye exams administered by registered optometrists into the schools and senior residences, thus eliminating the need for parents to take time off from work, or for fragile seniors to have to travel to have access to eye care. 

 MEC allows large numbers of students or seniors to be examined  in a convenient, efficient and effective manner. More eye exams administered equals more vision problems corrected.

 

How do Mobile Eye Clinics (MEC) work?

 The Canadian Council of the Blind, in conjunction with local optometrists, are currently developing and testing a prototype Mobile Eye Clinic (MEC) in Eastern Ontario, with the intention of carrying the MECs across Canada.

The CCB and the Lions Clubs of District A4 have teamed up to launch the first series of Mobile Eye Clinics directed toward children and seniors.

Thus far, clinics have been held in a number of elementary schools and seniors homes in Ottawa, Cornwall, Pembroke and surrounding areas of Eastern Ontario.

CCB Mobile Eye Clinic staff contact interested schools and arrange for the MEC van to be there for a scheduled clinic day(s).  A consent form is sent home to parents for signing up students and appointment times are set.  MEC staff handles the necessary paperwork and, along with Lions Clubs volunteers, ensure the process moves smoothly so each individual’s exam is a positive experience.

A similar system is used in seniors’ homes, with each patient having a reserved appointment time on the scheduled day.  Staff and volunteers assist where needed to keep seniors relaxed and comfortable.

A registered Optometrist travels to the clinic site where CCB staff have set up all the equipment necessary for a comprehensive eye examination.  A complete and thorough exam is conducted with each individual.  Following the exam, the Optometrist issues a letter to the parent or power of attorney, includes a prescription for corrective eyewear if needed or refers the student or senior for further assessment.

The equipment used for a Mobile Eye Clinic is equivalent to what is found in a traditional optometry office.

 

Why are eye exams in children important?

CCB Mobile Eye Clinics have found that almost 30% of the children tested have undetected vision issues.  MEC has even discovered children who, unknown to their parents and teachers, had significantly poor vision.  With corrective eye wear, these children now enjoy 20/20 vision.

Vision problems in children often go unnoticed because a child has never known any other type of vision so does not complain.  They may believe everyone has blurry or double vision.

Parents can be lulled into a sense of security thinking their child is fine because their child doesn’t complain.  Kids don’t know what they can’t see. Often kids don’t realize they have a vision problem until it’s accidentally found.

Early detection of vision problems is key to a successful social and academic life. Vision loss in children affects their ability to learn and increases social isolation.

Some vision disorders interfere with classroom performance including inadequate eye coordination and reduced ability to focus. These conditions can cause blurred vision, eyestrain, headaches, and double vision when reading. Because it is difficult to focus on individual words, children with these problems often lose their place when reading, have difficulty copying from the chalkboard, omit words, and show difficulty sustaining reading for long periods. Reading comprehension can suffer as a result of excess effort required to make the print clear and single. Many children struggle unnecessarily, require excessive time to complete assignments, or simply avoid reading.

 

Why are eye exams in seniors important?

Mobile Eye Clinics in seniors homes have found over 56% of seniors examined have one or more ocular diseases or conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, etc.  

Aside from affecting the quality of life, seniors who have vision problems are almost twice as likely to fall, with resulting injuries.  Some of these injuries may be severe enough to require hospitalization or surgery, which is a huge expense to our health system.

Visual acuity alone is not a good predictor of a person’s degree of visual difficulty. A senior with relatively good acuity (e.g., 20/40) can have difficulty functioning, while someone with worse acuity (e.g., 20/100) might not experience any significant functional problems. Other visual factors, such as poor depth perception, limited side vision, extreme sensitivity to lights and glare, and reduced color perception, can also limit a senior’s ability to perform everyday tasks.

 

To read more articles about the Mobile Eye Clinic Click Here

To see some of the Mobile Eye Clinic results Click Here