Eyecare Mission Trip

Our optometry student working at Avenue Eyecare this summer was asking me about my previous eyecare mission experiences because she will soon be leaving for her first mission in Peru.  If I could think of one inefficiency, it would be the large bins of glasses we all have to check-in to ensure we have several pairs of the most common powers of glasses  needed in our targeted demographic.   We usually bring thousands of pairs of glasses but end up bringing back quite a few that aren’t useful.

Recently, a friend with an engineering mind and a knack for design told me about “power-adjustable” glasses.  The first design uses plastic lenses that are two clear circular sacs filled with fluid, each of which is connected to a small syringe attached to either arm of the glasses. The wearer can use the syringe to adjust the amount of fluid in the lens, which changes the overall power of the glasses.  The second design uses SlideLens® technology and is based on the principle that the 2 lenses added together will give you the total power of your glasses.  The wearer slides uniquely shaped lenses across each other, which changes the total power of the glasses.

If we could bring economical power-adjustable glasses to our mission trips, every patient would get their exact prescription and every pair of glasses we bring would be useful.  The power ranges are still limited in these designs, but I’m sure that in the near future, I’ll be using these glasses to help someone see better.

References:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/dec/22/diy-adjustable-glasses-josh-silver & http://www.eyejusters.com/

Dr. Jessica Chang, OD drchang@avenueeyecare.com
Vancouver Kerrisdale Optometrist

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