About Prevent Blindness Georgia
Prevent Blindness Georgia (PBGA) was established in 1965 as an affiliate of Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading non-profit eye health and safety organization. With a focus on promoting a continuum of vision care, PBGA touches the lives of more than 35,000 people each year with our direct services. Each year we vision screen over 33,000 three, four and five-year-old children; train more than 200 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 more than 2,000 adults and replacement glasses for children. In program year 2016, Prevent Blindness Georgia served 116 counties in Georgia through our children’s and adult programs.
During this past school year, the Star Pupils vision screened more than 34,000 Georgia three, four and five-year-old children, referring about eight percent 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 can 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.
PBGA also offers children’s vision screening training and certification. Through this programs, school nurses, Head Start staff, day care staff, and pediatric offices are trained in the best evidence-based method of vision screening children using national recommendations from Prevent Blindness and the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health.
In 2001, Prevent Blindness Georgia launched Vision Outreach, a mobile, full-service vision program that offers free vision screenings, eye examinations, and low-cost eyeglasses to uninsured, underinsured, and 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 15 years, PBGA has diagnosed hundreds of cases of eye disease that, if left undiagnosed, may have led to blindness.
Georgia Retinal Imaging Project (GRIP)
The Georgia Retinal Imaging Project utilizes retinal imaging technology to detect glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy among those at risk. An initial diagnosis of eye disease or disorder can be made without the participant seeing an eye doctor in person.