EyeSmartTM EyeCheck is a new program recently launched by the American Academy of Ophthalmology to combat undetected eye disease and visual impairment among at-risk populations in the United States. The announcement comes as new research from the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) shows that Latinos have higher rates of visual impairment, blindness, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts than non-Hispanic whites. Through the new EyeSmart EyeCheck initiative, the Academy and its partners will work to raise awareness and understanding of the impact of eye disease and visual impairment, particularly among minority populations who disproportionately lack access to care. The initial emphasis will be on the Latino community. LALES findings reveal the high rate of visual impairment in Latinos. These rates are higher than any other racial/ethnic group studied in the United States.
One of the components of the program will be facilitating free screenings to help identify undiagnosed visual impairment and eye disease among populations at greatest risk and with limited access to health care services. The first pilot screening will take place July 25 in Los Angeles at the Lady Queen of Angels Church.
The Academy’s EyeSmart EyeCheck program will be working with EyeCare America and local health departments and community clinics to provide sources for care once a diagnosis is made. For more information on the program visit: www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/eyecheck.
This article reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmartTM campaign (www.geteyesmart.org).