Friends for Sight was established in 1955 as Prevent Blindness Utah. Our purpose is to provide vision screening for children for Amblyopia (Lazy-Eye Blindness) and preserve sight. Since 1955, over 559,935 children – that’s over “A Million eyes” – have been screened. In addition, over 403,666 adults have been screened for Glaucoma, the sneak thief of sight. Since we established the high school drivers training vision screening program in March of 2001, 129,898 students have been screened in schools throughout the state.
Children’s vision screening is important at any age, ideally at age 3, when children’s eyes are developing binocular vision. A child will not complain about poor vision, because they don’t know how well they should see. Poor vision does not cause nor is it accompanied by any external signs. Amblyopia remains our number one concern, because the window of detection and treatment is narrow – between the ages of 3 and 7 years old – after which the child may be legally blind for life in the Amblyopic eye.
Sight for Students Program
Through the nationwide Vision Service Plan, we are able to provide eye exams and glasses to children whose families cannot afford treatment or who do not have vision insurance. We have provided eye glasses for 1,500 children in Utah since 1999, through this program.
For years the fight against Glaucoma, a major cause of blindness, has been undermined by late detection and treatment. Early detection of Glaucoma remains the key factor in preventing blindness from Glaucoma. Three million Americans are affected by the disease, but half of them don’t know it because Glaucoma progresses so slowly. Though doctors are turning to genetics and technology to help determine the propensity for the disease, early detection remains the key factor. Unfortunately, Glaucoma remains a leading cause of blindness in the United States.