In January three RNs at St. Joseph’s Medical Clinic became Certified Adult Vision Screeners. St. Joseph’s Medical Clinic is a 501 (c)(3) free clinic that offers primary medical care, housing assistance, prescription assistance, and aid with healthcare system navigation. Thank you St. Joseph’s for having our team and for all your efforts to help adults and families in your community! After this training, we now have three additional adult vision screeners ready to provide vision screening services to at-risk populations in the Greater Milwaukee area.
Four-year-old Charles of Ashland received a pair of glasses following a vision screening referral at his Head Start. His mother, Naomi, commented, “I thought he had a vision problem, the way he would always hold his head when he was looking for something. When he got his glasses, he was wowed and couldn’t stop laughing. I am very happy for him, it’s a new world for Charles!”
Share your child’s success with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin by submitting a Success Story Form. Children who share their story and photo receive a free vision-related book.
We had the wonderful opportunity to conduct a dual service at Cots, Inc. in Appleton where Prevent Blindness Wisconsin staff provided residents with adult vision screenings and a vision health education presentation. Cots, Inc. services children and adults with transitional housing, self-sufficiency, and independent living courses to help bring stability and structure to their residents and community. We were amazed by the residents’ humbleness, eagerness, and engagement with our program. The Cots, Inc. health advocate said, “After your presentation, one of the residents at COTS talked about how much he learned. He actually wants to try to quit smoking now. That is huge! Thanks for making a difference!”
Thank you to all of our volunteers for your support as you vision screen this semester. Two Volunteer Certified Children’s Vision Screening Trainings are scheduled this February for volunteers in need of re-certification or new volunteers interested in becoming a certified screener. A Children’s Vision Screener Certification is valid for 3 years. If you have questions about the date of your last certification or are interested in learning more about our volunteer opportunities, please contact April at [email protected].
If you conducted vision screenings this year, please remember to share your vision screening numbers with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin. We love knowing which schools and childcare centers have screening programs!
For any questions regarding vision screening numbers, please contact Shelby at [email protected].
Certified Screeners Ready to Save Sight
In January, Prevent Blindness Wisconsin trained more than 50 Lions Club members, school district nurses, and high school students to provide certified Children’s Vision Screenings. These newly certified vision screeners will join our network of more than 4,000 certified vision screeners in Wisconsin and provide evidence-based vision screenings to children to identify potential vision problems. To learn more about Children’s Vision Screening and upcoming trainings please contact Shelby at [email protected].
The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health is looking for parents of Head Start children to serve on the National Center Advisory Committee. These parents should have experience navigating the vision health system for their child. Parents would meet quarterly via Zoom (an online software) and would be flown out for an annual in-person meeting. If there are parents of children with glasses on your Parent Council, this is a great opportunity for them to get more involved. If you’d like to know more about this or have parents you’d like to recommend for the National Center Advisory Committee, please contact Shelby at [email protected].
February is AMD and Low Vision Awareness Month
Age is just a number. But what about the age of our eyes?
February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month. AMD is an eye condition that affects the macula of our eye. The macula is responsible for picking up fine details in our central field of vision. Our central vision allows us to complete activities that require fine motor skills and see details like reading and writing.
There are two types of AMD:
Dry AMD: The most common form; this occurs when the macula of our eye has protein build up on it over time (drusen). If there is a lot of drusen build up, it can cause the macula to dry out, affecting its function and resulting in gradual, permanent vision loss. A common symptom of dry AMD is having a blind spot in your central vision.
Wet AMD: The rarer and the most severe form of AMD. Dry AMD can lead to Wet AMD; about 10% of people who have Dry AMD will progress to Wet AMD. Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels grow underneath the macula of our eye. The macula is supposed to be flat against the retina. If blood vessels grow underneath it, it causes the macula to bulge up, affecting our central vision. Over time, these blood vessels can also become weak, break open, and flood the macula, affecting our central vision. A common symptom of Wet AMD is straight lines appearing wavy or distorted.
AMD is a chronic condition and requires lifelong treatment to preserve sight. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss for people 50 years or older. Those at the highest risk for AMD are Caucasian women over the age of 50 and those who have AMD in their family (parent or sibling has the disease).
The best way to prevent vision loss from AMD is to receive regular, dilated eye exams. Dilated eye exams are the only way to diagnose age-related macular degeneration, monitor disease progression, and create a treatment plan to preserve sight.
Have you had a dilated eye exam lately? Save your sight; it matters. Schedule your eye exam.
Bausch + Lomb Sight Matters Campaign
In collaboration with AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month, Bausch + Lomb is launching their Sight Matters campaign. Show your support for those living with AMD. Throughout the month of February, like or share an AMD related post on Bausch + Lomb’s Facebook or Twitter and $1 will be donated to Prevent Blindness. Bausch + Lomb are donating up to $50,000 to Prevent Blindness during the month of February to raise awareness on AMD and current treatment options available. Visit the Bausch + Lomb website for more information about the campaign and AMD.
Prevent Blindness Wisconsin is honored to announce it has been awarded grants to support our sight-saving services for children and adults across the state.
Thank you to the Frieda and William Hunt Memorial Trust, the Clare M. Peters Charitable Trust, and the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation for funding grants which support the children’s vision screening program in the greater Milwaukee area, ensuring children have healthy vision to learn, play, and grow!
Thank you to the Hilliard Family Foundation, a fund of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, for supporting the Head Start Vision Health Program in Green Bay which ensures children have health vision to begin their educational careers with success!
Thank you to the West Bend Community Foundation’s West Bend Mutual Insurance Company’s Charitable Fund for supporting the Adult Vision Health Program which will provide essential vision health education, vision screenings/risk assessments, and vision care resources to at-risk adults in Washington County.
Your support allows us to carry out our vision for each Wisconsin resident to have healthy vision at every stage of life.
Founded in 1958, Prevent Blindness Wisconsin improves the lives of children, adults, and families through early detection of eye conditions to prevent blindness and preserve sight. On-going vision screening activities and state-wide public health education lead to a lifetime of healthy vision.