TRENTON - Working to preserve residents’ eyesight with proactive services, the Department of Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) is encouraging New Jerseyans to get regular vision screenings to save their sight, as part of National Save Your Vision Month.
Last year, through targeted outreach such as mobile eye examination units, on-site screening and special outreach programs for people with diabetes, the CBVI provided vision screenings for over 42,000 people, of whom 8,300 were referred for necessary follow-up.
It is estimated that 118,000 New Jerseyans over the age 40 are blind or visually impaired. Loss of sight impacts quality of life, medical costs, work productivity and various other economic factors totaling about $51.4 billion a year, nationally.
“Regular vision screenings are essential to maintaining eye health,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “Taking the time for an eye screening can reduce the risk of vision loss and help detect systemic and chronic diseases like diabetes. Our eyes are as important as our cholesterol levels, heart health and bone density.”
March is recognized as National Save Your Vision Month. Research has shown that 50 percent of cases of blindness or severe vision loss could have been prevented by early detection of disorders and the appropriate follow-up care. Studies also have found that over 33 percent of people with Diabetes did not know that they had it until a regular eye screening identified a change to blood vessels in the retina.
“For over 30 years, the Commission has been providing statewide eye screenings in an effort to promote eye health, especially among residents who may be underinsured or uninsured,” said Vito DeSantis, Executive Director at CBVI. “Eye exams are a vital part of protecting eyesight and quality of life.”
CBVI performs eye screenings in nearly every county at least once a month. A mobile unit also can be dispatched to your community by contacting the Commission at: (973) 648-7400 or Toll Free (877) 685-8878.