DEAR ABBY: The American Optometric Association is pleased to announce that for the first time, VISION USA, our free eye-care program for low-income, working Americans, is accepting applications and examinations year-round!
Children, adults and seniors in working families can now benefit by applying any time throughout the year. This allows them to receive an eye exam when it is needed most.
Year-round VISION USA means that the 7,000 optometrists who donate these comprehensive eye exams will be able to serve more patients through the program. During the exam, an optometrist will not only examine vision acuity (how well the eyes can see distant and close), but also examine the eyes for focusing, visual alignment, tracking, binocular fusion and disease.
To qualify for free eye care through VISION USA, individuals must be working or be part of a household with one member who is working at least part-time, have no insurance that covers eye examinations, an income below an established level based on household size, and not have had an eye exam in the past 24 months. (Some states have different eligibility requirements.)
Abby, we appreciate your previous support of VISION USA. Please know that mentioning this free program in your column can help many people. -- J. PAT CUMMINGS, O.D., PRESIDENT, AMERICAN OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION
DEAR DR. CUMMINGS: I am pleased to publicize this worthwhile program for my readers. Since VISION USA began in 1991, more than 314,000 individuals have benefited from this free service.
Readers can register by calling toll-free: 800-766-4466, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central time. Application forms are also available from VISION USA, 243 Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141, or on the AOA Web site: www.aoa.org/visionusa.