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Local Eye Health Professionals Offer Free Exams

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 13 May 2013 05:41am | comments
Photo courtesy of Lawayne Childrey/MPB News
Experts say people with diabetes are 25 times more likely to become blind than people without the disease. Eye health professional say that regular eye exams can help detect the disease early and possibly save someone's life.   
In 2010, diabetes contributed to the deaths of nearly one thousand Mississippians. During a free mobile eyecare clinic in Jackson this weekend Dr. Courtney Robinson, an ophthalmologist with the Mississippi Eye Care Associates said through routine eye examinations doctors can easily diagnose a number of diseases including diabetes.
"So it's kind of important for people to know that if their eye vessels are leaking, their kidney vessels could be leaking, their heart vessels could be leaking and that's a way to kind of monitor your systemic health a little bit better," says Robinson.  "Sometimes we see signs of high cholesterol in the eye so as optometrists we aren't just working with the eyes, we're trying to work with other professionals and get the whole body taken care of there."
After receiving a thorough eye examination from Dr. Robinson, Teresa Sterling says she was pleased with the results.
"Well I got a good report, she said that I was young and healthy and I needed to hear that, that was confirmation from the Lord that I need to keep doing what I'm doing, I had a slight change but not that very much," says Sterling.
Eye examinations along with glasses can often costs hundreds of dollars. Kim Rankin, Operations Manager for the Vision Care mobile clinic says with today's tough economy a number of people are choosing to let eyecare fall between the cracks. 
"They're working four, five or six part time jobs, they don't get medical of vision benefits through their employer or they've been laid off and the last thing they're gonna put money into is a pair of glasses, theyre making the decision do I pay the light bill or put food on the table," says Rankin.
According to recent studies, Diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in African American Adults.


Photo courtesy of Lawayne Childrey/MPB News



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