Eyeglass Assist

Solomon Islands Project


Title: Driving Blind

Location : Alofi, Niue

Year : 2017

 A guy in his 40's came to see us and told us that he thought he needed help with both his near vision and his distance vision, not an uncommon situation so we thought we'd start off with reading glasses. After asking a few questions it became apparent that the guy was extremely myopic (short sighted). The only things that he could see clearly were objects within 15cms (6 inches) of his eyes, everything else was blurred to various degrees. After testing and comparing a number of negative prescription glasses we found that a pair of -2.75 glasses allowed him to read at a comfortable distance of around ½ a metre (or 15 inches). That strength for a pair of reading glasses is extremely strong.

Next it was on to checking his distance vision which we do a preliminarily check using our Tumbling “E” chart from a distance of 6 metre. I asked him to stand near the door to the room while I walked towards the chart to find out which line he could read – top to bottom, big to small. After I was a few steps from him he said “forget it, I can't even see the chart from here, it's all a blur”. The poor guy's world visual world was unimaginable to me.

We did comparisons of glasses starting at around -3.00 and gradually increased the strength. Finally he tried on a pair and said that he could see all the lines on the chart clearly, they were – 6.25. Excellent. Next step was to take him outside and confirm that he could see everything clearly. Outside he said “yep, everything is clear now, I can see the number plates on the cars, the writing on the signs and the leaves on the trees, these will make driving a lot safer for me”. DRIVING ????? With his extremely poor vision this guy had been driving on the same roads as the rest of us which just goes to show you how dangerous a place our public roads can be because you don't know who's driving the other cars.

At least for the time being the roads of Niue will be a little safer thanks to Eyeglass Assist !



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