Optometrists looking out for eyes in need

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Eyesight is something so important it’s difficult to imagine a situation in which someone goes through life without seeing because they can’t afford glasses. 

Prince Albert Optometrist Dr. Tim Degelman is seen next to corrective lenses — crucial tools that people in many areas of the world are unable to afford. 

Eyesight is something so important it’s difficult to imagine a situation in which someone goes through life without seeing because they can’t afford glasses.

This, local optometrist Dr. Tim Degelman said, is precisely what happens in many Third World countries throughout the world — an issue being addressed by the national Optometry Giving Sight effort.

“Blindness is a huge problem in the world, and the No. 1 cause is uncorrected refractive error, which is such an easy thing for us to fix — at least in Canada we think so, but in other countries it’s not so readily available,” he said.

Uncorrected refractive error in laymen’s terms is blurred vision, treated with corrective glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.

Recognizing this need, Degelman and his co-workers at FYIdoctors joined a national effort four years ago to raise money to help provide corrective lenses to those in the greatest need.

This year, Central Optometric Group has joined in the effort, bringing the national total to 105 participating centres.

“It’s an interesting time for this, as well, because the month of October is actually eye health month by the Canadian Optometric Association,” Degelman said.

Blindness is a huge problem in the world, and the No. 1 cause is uncorrected refractive error, which is such an easy thing for us to fix — at least in Canada we think so, but in other countries it’s not so readily available. Tim Degelman

“The theme this year is Eye See Eye Learn for Canada, which is promoting children’s eye care and children’s vision, so this fits nicely in the program we have here, which is providing funding to Third World countries to help children in these systems who are unable to perform due to vision impairments.”

Central Optometric Group, at 3-210 15th St. E. is holding a bake sale this week, with all proceeds donated to the Optometry Giving Sight effort.

FYIdoctors, at 2685 Second Ave. W. is holding a draw this month for a $250 store credit, open to everyone who makes a donation.

There are an estimated 600 million people in the world who are blind or vision impaired because they do not have access to an eye exam or glasses, an Optometry Giving Sight press release reads, with $5 enough to provide an eye examination and pair of glasses for someone in a developing country.

Optometry Giving Sight is being done through World Vision Canada, with 85 per cent of funds raised by optometrists going directly to 35 vision-centred projects in 23 countries. 

Organizations: Third World, Central Optometric Group, Canadian Optometric Association Eye See Eye Learn for Canada Optometry Giving Sight press

Geographic location: Canada

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