Prevent Blindness Georgia exists to prevent blindness and preserve sight.
We screen. We check the eyes of thousands of children and adults each year. Our vision screenings help preschoolers at risk of vision loss from amblyopia or "lazy eye" blindness, and adults threatened by glaucoma and other serious vision problems.
We educate. We get the word out on better eye health through blog posts, brochures, fact sheets, public service announcements, newsletters, media campaigns, special events, the web and social media. Every year more than one million Georgians read, hear or see our messages about early detection of eye disease and prevention of accidents that can cause permanent loss of sight.
We advocate. We work with government officials at the local, state, and national levels - building grassroots advocacy movements and institutional partnerships that will improve our nation's public health policies.
We train. We train and certify adult and children's vision screeners and screening instructors through the only national program of its kind, providing vision screening personnel with the skills they need to help people in their communities.
We are in your community today. We improve the quality of life for thousands through our community programs. Our website, www.pbga.org, puts us within reach of anyone with Internet access.
About Prevent Blindness Georgia
Prevent Blindness Georgia was established in 1965 as an affiliate of Prevent Blindness America, the nation's leading nonprofit eye health and safety organization. With a focus on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness Georgia touches the lives of more than 40,000 people each year with our direct services. We vision screen 35,000 four year olds; train more than 400 public health, school nurse and pediatric vision screeners; screen high risk adults for glaucoma and other aging eye diseases; provide current information on eye health and safety; and provide eye examinations and free or low-cost eye glasses to adults and replacement glasses for students. In program year 2012, Prevent Blindness Georgia served 114 counties in Georgia through our children's and adult programs.
During this past school year, Prevent Blindness Georgia's Star Pupils Children's Vision Screening program, utilizing the services of 15 certified vision screeners, screened more than 35,000 Georgia four year olds and referred about six percent of them to an eye care professional for further evaluation. Suspected eye conditions included amblyopia or "lazy eye" blindness, strabismus or muscle imbalance, and refractive errors. If detected at an early age, children's eye conditions, some of which could ultimately lead to blindness, can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or patching to strengthen the weak eye. We recognize that vision problems are the leading handicap of childhood and continue to grow the program across the state as funding permits.
Currently, Prevent Blindness Georgia is focusing on our School Nurse and Partner Pediatrician programs. Through these programs, school nurses and pediatric offices are trained in the best evidence-based method of vision screening children using a manual jointly published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Prevent Blindness America.
In 2000, Prevent Blindness Georgia launched Vision Outreach™, a mobile, full-service vision program that offers free vision screenings, eye examinations, and low-cost eyeglasses to low-income adults. The unique model of taking vision screeners, eye doctors, equipment, ophthalmic technicians, and even eyeglasses on-site to shelters allows us to diagnose those with eye disease and refer them for further treatment. Over the past 12 years, Prevent Blindness Georgia has diagnosed hundreds of cases of eye disease that, if left undiagnosed, would lead to blindness.
The Georgia Retinal Imaging Project, which utilizes new retinal imaging technology to detect glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, is underway, thanks to the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr., Foundation which provided funding for the Nidek Automated Fundus camera. Prevent Blindness Georgia board chair Scott Pastor, MD, a glaucoma specialist with Eye Consultants of Atlanta, designed the project. More than 1,000 people at risk for aging eye diseases receive retinal screenings each program year.