Friends for Sight works passionately each day to save sight and change lives.
We do this by providing free vision screenings, working to ensure that people of all ages and backgrounds have access to quality eye care, and disseminating information about eye safety, threats to vision, and available community resources.
Friends for Sight staff and volunteers have been fighting blindness in Utah since 1955. The program began as a way to vision screen children at a pivotal age to detect amblyopia, also known as lazy eye blindness. Since then, the program has expanded to include adult vision screening and checking eye pressure, an indicator of a prevalent form of adult blindness, glaucoma.
The Friends for Sight Vision Clinics and SightFest outreach program vastly increased our ability to provide vision access by partnering with local optometrists and ophthalmologists to provide free, full eye exams and access to glasses throughout Utah.
Why It Matters
Vision disorders are the most prevalent disabling condition for children in the United States—and most can be corrected.
This morning, 10,300 Utah children woke up with Amblyopia, a vision disorder that, if not treated, leads to blindness. The problem is, they don't know it. Their parents don't either. Amblyopia is easily identified through a simple screening process. With timely medical treatment, a child's sight can be fully restored and a life is forever changed.
Early detection of vision impairments is vital to a child's sense of self, ability to socialize, and success in school.
An estimated 58,000 children in Utah alone struggle in school due to poor eyesight, and only half of those children who need vision correction receive it. The impact of poor eyesight on school performance is profound. In fact, many children with poor eyesight show some of the same behavioral problems as those who are ultimately diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorders. With timely diagnosis from a professional, marked improvement in all aspects of young lives is possible with vision correction.
The price of vision loss and blindness continues throughout adulthood.
The total economic burden resulting from eye disorders in the United States last year was an estimated $139 billion. Loss of sight impacts our ability to work, to stay active, and to contribute to our community in meaningful ways. Vision disorders like Glaucoma affect more adult Americans than ever before. With early treatment, the vision loss impact of Glaucoma can be contained.