201384 Protect your Eyes! (Proteja sus Ojos)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marcela Frazier, OD, MPH, FAAO , School of Optometry, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Uzma A. Zumbrink, MPH , Clinical Care Group, AMERICAN OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION, St. Louis, MO
Timothy A. Wingert, OD , College of Optometry, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Eye injury is a chief cause of monocular blindness in the United States. There are more than 65,000 occupational eye injuries and illnesses that cause vision loss and disability in the United States annually. According to Prevent Blindness America, almost 90% of all eye injuries are preventable. Reducing occupational eye injury is an objective of both Healthy People 2010 and the AOA's Healthy Eyes Healthy People® program. Eye injury is a significant disabling American health problem especially among the Hispanic population. The Hispanic population working in the factories, construction or agricultural sectors are uninformed regarding occupational eye injuries. The purpose of this project, “ Protect your Eyes! (Proteja sus Ojos)” was to develop an educational intervention to promote the use of protective eye wear among Hispanic workers. As part of our collaboration with Cahaba Valley Health Care, central Alabama, we have been performing vision screenings for Latinos in churches they attend. Screenings are conducted on fourteen Sunday afternoons a year at churches. Undilated examinations, refractions, visual acuity, and tonometry readings are performed by volunteer optometrists and optometry students. While patients are waiting for eye examinations, they receive education about eye safety and injury prevention using a brochure and visual poster format. The patients then receive safety glasses to use at work. Since our inception we have provided safety glasses to 218 Latinos.

Learning Objectives:
1. To promote the use of protective eye wear among Hispanic workers. 2. To develop an educational intervention to prevent occupational eye injuries among Hispanic workers.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved with the American Optometric Association’s Healthy Eyes Healthy People® program as an associate director for this project and staff.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.