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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Academics & Research

UH College of Optometry offers free eye exams in March

For the entire month of March, students, faculty and staff at UH have the opportunity to participate in “Save Your Vision Month”— an annual, nation-wide campaign to promote awareness to eye health. Any member of the UH community can receive a free eye examination at the University Eye Institute at the College of Optometry.

The campaign started in 1922 when the Eye Sight Conservation Council of American (E.S.C.C.) developed literature in The Optical Journal of Review of Optometry that stressed the importance of eye health in children. At the time, the goal was to spread awareness in proper optical hygiene. By 1927, the E.S.C.C had designated a day to promote the importance of eye health, especially as it related to impaired vision. On December 30, 1963, Congress approved a request by President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim the first week of March “Save Your Vision Week.” By 2003, the campaign expanded into a month-long observance supported by professional organizations such as the American Optometric Association.


On December 30, 1963, Congress approved a request by President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim the first week of March “Save Your Vision Week.” |Sara Samora/The Cougar

“The importance of ‘Save Your Vision Month’ is to promote the importance of annual eye exams by a licensed Doctor of Optometry to improve the health of eyes,” said University Eye Institute Optometry Clinic Coordinator Carl Branch.

When asked about “Save Your Vision Month,” students with vision problems had good things to say about the campaign. One student in particular, who suffers from nearsightedness, thought it would be a great alternative to students of limited income.

“The last couple of years, the prices of the [eye] exams have increased,” journalism and public relations sophomore Bruno Ugaz said of Walmart’s eye screenings. “Last October, the eye exam was a $100. Three to five years ago, it was like 50.”

Liberal studies and political science senior Arlette Tamez echoed Ugaz’s opinion on cost, saying it would be a benefit to students of limited income. However, she had concerns.

“It is advertised as a vision screening test, which to me that implies that it is a relatively short examination that can only diagnose a vision problem or a potential one,” said Tamez, who also suffers from nearsightedness. “To me personally, I already know my problem, therefore I would not find it useful.”

However, both students thought “Save Your Vision Month” would be an asset to their fellow students.

“I think ‘Save Your Vision Month’ can benefit UH by giving students an opportunity for a short consultation regarding their eye vision,” said Tamez.

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