TEGA CAY — Early vision detection may soon be an option for more Tega Cay residents.
In an effort to provide more community members with vision screenings, the Tega Cay Lions Club has launched a vision screening and PediaVision SPOT Initiative.
The members hope to raise money for a PediaVision SPOT unit, a sophisticated diagnostic instrument which allows for fast, accurate screening results across all age groups, club member Hope MacBride said.
“It has so many possibilities,” she said. “It’s the next generation of eye screening.”
More than 12 million school children struggle with vision problems every day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Studies show that 25 percent of school-age children in America suffer from a vision problem.
The Tega Cay Lions Club, working in conjunction with the Fort Mill Lions, hopes to put a dent in those numbers by providing early vision screenings in schools and at community events such as health fairs and festivals, MacBride said. The hope is to identify those in need of comprehensive eye exams.
Early detection is key to preventing vision problems, said Dr. Larry Jerge of Tega Cay Eye Care. The SPOT unit will help replace the traditional Snellen eye chart method, which is based on a chart created 150 years ago, Jerge said.
The Snellen chart can often be subjective because it is based on the response of the person being screened, Jerge said.
“It’s not very accurate,” he said. “20/20 is not a guarantee that there are no problems.”
The SPOT unit eliminates this issue by screening people without the need for a response, allowing it to screen younger children as well, Jerge said. It is also non-invasive.
“It’s a far step ahead of what we are using,” he said. “The unit is very user friendly.”
The SPOT unit also detects major vision issues, including farsightedness, nearsightedness and blurred vision, according to the PediaVision website.
“It’s revolutionary,” Jerge said.
The club plans to train a team on the SPOT unit and provide screenings throughout the community, MacBride said.
“It will take what we’re doing now to the next level,” she said.
The club hopes to raise $8,000 to purchase and begin using the SPOT screening unit, MacBride said.
Make a donation in the club’s “800,000 Pennies for Sight” collection jars at the Tega Cay Eye Care, located inside the Tega Cay Walmart, 1151 Stonecrest Blvd.
MacBride said the Club hopes to reach its goal by September.
“Every penny counts,” she said.
The Lions Club also collects hearing aids and about 2,500 pairs of glasses annually. Glasses and hearing aids can be dropped off at Tega Cay Eye Care, InFocus Eye Care, 1701 First Baxter Crossing in Baxter Village and the Tega Cay Pharmacy, 729 Crossroads Plaza in Fort Mill.