Tzu Chi Vision Mobile Is a Sight for Those Needing Eye Care

If eyes are the windows to the soul, then it is ever so important that people take care of them.  Just as it is important to take care of our general health and our dental health, vision care is equally important. Due to the high cost of medical and dental as well as vision, and that many underprivileged people go without health insurance, vision care is one that often falls by the wayside. And neglected vision care coincides with certain eye diseases some of which can be age-related.

However, with the cost of care for basic medical and then dental and since many people go without insurance, vision care is often put to the backburner for some.

Tzu Chi USA knows the importance of vision care and its Optometry mobile clinic is one that provides free vision care to those underprivileged in parts of Southern California.

Therefore, for many who visit the clinic, it is life-saving as well as eye-opening. Some people do not have the funds to pay for an eye doctor. The mobile clinic brings them the care they need and allows them not to have to worry about their vision.

Whether it is for age-related eye issues, for those who are older, or for children who may go without glasses, which effects how they do in school, the vision care is as welcomed by all as it is important to their daily lives.

Eye diseases are progressive. People don't notice it, so that's why it's important to get care. For kids it's important, too, so that they can do well in school. This van is a grant from LA County, so our purpose is to go out to see people who don't have any health insurance, who really need eye care.

The Tzu Chi mobile volunteer team are at the forefront of providing the services that literally can be eye-opening for some of the patients. They are happy they can help these patients see things in a new and inviting light, which helps in their daily lives. They are able to do this because the mobile clinic features state-of-the-art equipment and volunteers who give of their time to help.

We designed it in a sense where we create a 'wow' experience for the patient. Every patient who comes into our mobile [clinic] can feel the 'wow' experience.

Eye care at the mobile clinic includes vision testing, basic eye exams and eye-glass prescriptions done right on site. Patients can choose from a variety of frames for reading glasses and single vision glasses. The machine used to cut the lenses typically takes about a half hour.

From the clinic’s first visit in April 2013, it has continued to be successful with many vision patients being seen every year to receive care for their eyes.

The hope is to bring more vision mobile vans, possibly to every state, as demand continues to increase.