When Was the Last Time Your Vision Was Checked?

In this season that some would like to call radical hospitality, pastors across the nation emphasize during Christmas and Advent services the importance of helping our neighbors. Helping our neighbors, of course, is built on the premise of seeing. Seeing their wants, seeing their needs, seeing their gifts.

And while having this kind of insight cannot be checked by any vision screenings at an eye doctor’s office, this is indeed the way we need to look in at all of the people we encounter, not only during the advent season, but all year long. Taking this idea of radical hospitality and visions to the next step, there are some programs in the country that try to connect those who are most in need with the health and vision screenings that they need to start the New Year off right.

New Eye Glasses Provide the Best Kind of Vision for the New Year

Although there are many of us who simply take for granted the fact that we can get the services and the products that we need from eye clinics whenever we need them, this is not the case for all. From the family who is dealing with an end of the year job loss to the family who is struggling with a large amount of medical debt, there are many times when visits to eye clinics are simply not possible. It is at this time of year, however, when many eye clinics work with other community groups to provide eye exams to those in need. Finding an affordable way to get eye glasses to those who are most in need is an important part of many community projects.

Unfortunately, if you do not have the services that are provided at eye clinics you may not be able to perform as well as you should at work or at school. This means that even in the season of radical hospitality there are those who are struggling to be their best selves. By providing local eye exams to those most in need, many optometrists are able to help create a literal new vision for patients from a wide range of backgrounds.

Consider some of these facts and figures about the many ways that eye vision screenings and new eye glasses can impact a person:

  • Interestingly enough, one study from 2007 revealed that job candidates who wear glasses are more likely to succeed in their job interviews.
  • In fact, recent research indicates that people who displayed higher levels of intelligence were almost 30% more likely to wear glasses or need contact lenses than those who exhibited average levels of intelligence.
  • Fewer than 15% of preschool children receive an eye exam and fewer than 22% receive vision screening, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • The CDC also reports that 61 million U.S. adults are at high risk for serious vision loss, but only 50% of these people visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months.
  • Recent estimated indicate that 45 million Americans wear contact lenses.
  • Although 94% of Americans aged 12 and older have good vision, the remaining 6%, which represents 14 million people, are visually impaired. Of these, more than 11 million have uncorrected visual impairment, like nearsightedness.

Having a vision for the future takes on new meaning during the holiday season. From the pulpits of churches across the nation pastors remind their congregational members to have a vision that leads to radical hospitality. From a personal perspective, having clear vision provides a way to be the most successful at both school and at work.

When was the last time you were able to have a vision screening? Although you may be able to get the eye exams that you need for yourself and your family, it is important to note that there are others who cannot. In this season of giving, why not do what you can to help provide vision services and eye glasses to those who are most in need. Everyone deserves a chance to start the New Year with a clear vision. Connecting those in need with the necessary resources allows more people to reach their goals and make a positive impact on the world that we live in.

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