Preventative Services

 

ABVI offers preventative vision care through our Focus on Adults program for adults in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties. Our Focus on Children program serves children in Charleston County.

Focus on Adults: ABVI offers free, comprehensive eye exams, prescription eye wear and referrals for approximately 40 adult patients per month in the Tri-County area.  

Focus on Children: ABIV offers free vision screenings for pre-school aged children in 22 Charleston County Schools, 21 of which are Title I. 

Focus on Children Program

Focus on Children is a school-based program serving pre-k, predominantly Head Start and Child Development children in 22 Charleston County schools, 21 of which are Title I. Through Focus on Children, ABVI provides eye screenings to each child in the beginning of the school year. Children not passing the screening are offered a free, in-school, full dilated eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. We provide the children needing glasses with free, prescription glasses, delivered to the school within 2-3 weeks following the exam. We refer children requiring additional optical attention to local eye care professionals.

The primary goals of Focus on Children are to restore vision and prevent the incidence of unnecessary vision loss. ABVI seeks to lower the number of children in Charleston County whose educational career is negatively impacted by undiagnosed and untreated visual impairments. South Carolina does not mandate vision screenings or exams prior to school enrollment, resulting in many children entering school with undetected vision problems. Failure to detect and address visual impairments at an early age can cause a negative ripple effect in a child’s educational career.

80% of a child’s learning is visual, so children suffering with undiagnosed vision problems may be placed at an academic disadvantage to those children with proper vision.

The Vision Impact Institute estimates that 25% of school-age children in the U.S. have some form of vision impairment which negatively impacts their ability to learn. Through our program, we aim to catch and address vision impairments in children at an early age before permanent damages or interruption in the child’s educational career occurs.

Focus on Adults Program

Through Focus on Adults, we provide free vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams, prescription eye wear and referrals to uninsured or underinsured adults in the Charleston Tri-County area living on an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Vision care is a basic human need, but many of the individuals we serve through our program have not had an eye exam in years, if ever, due to expense. Individuals with glasses often arrive at our clinic with complaints of blurred vision and headaches because of outdated, ineffective prescriptions. We also see many people who have lost, or are at-risk of losing, their job because of poor vision.

Studies show that half of all blindness and visual impairment can be prevented with early detection and treatment. Many eye conditions, however, are symptomless at first, so regular eye exams are extremely important. Many adults, particularly low-income adults, fail to have their eyes checked regularly. The common barriers include a lack of awareness and a lack of financial resources.

Through Focus on Adults, we are working to correct vision, prevent vision loss and to educate our patients and the community on the importance of vision care.

For more information about Focus on Adults, please contact Brooks Harken at bharken@abvisc.org or 843.952-7242.