Fenwick Lions offer vision screening to vets and families

The Fenwick Island Lions Club, Millsboro American Legion and the Ocean View VFW — in the spirit of the newly formed Delaware Joining Forces initiative designed to encourage veterans and community service organizations to work more closely together — will offer a free vision screening opportunity, starting this month, to veterans and their families.

The first screening will take place on Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mason Dixon VFW Post 7234, located at 29265 Marshy Hope Way in Ocean View. The effort defines “veteran’ as any individual who is, or has, served the country in uniform.

For the past 20-plus years, the Fenwick Island Lions Club, and other Lions Clubs throughout the state, have offered vision screening for young children — typically pre-school and kindergarten age children — in an effort to detect childhood vision problems, at an early age and when such issues are most treatable. Last year, trained volunteers screened more than 500 children.

Several years, ago the Fenwick Island Lions Club, along with several other Lions Club in the region, and with the financial assistance of the Delaware Lions Foundation, acquired a computer-based screening device that is able to accurately measure and determine vision problems.

While the device is not intended to take the place of a professional eye exam, it does identify vision issues that would benefit from a follow-up with an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

The new device is capable of screening individuals from age 2 through adulthood. The device can, almost instantaneously, detect refractive errors, including:

• Astigmatism: irregularly shaped corneas or lenses;

• Myopia: nearsightedness;

• Hyperopia: farsightedness; and

• Anisometropia: differences between the two eyes.

It also performs a gaze analysis to help detect:

• Strabismus: misalignment of the eyes;

• Amblyopia: lazy eye;

• Anisocoria: pupil size anomalie.

The board of directors of the Fenwick Island Lions Club has agreed to extend its vision screening services to veterans and their families at no charge and will coordinate the offering to when the VA medical van is on location. They can also provide financial assistance in acquiring both an eye exam and eyewear, for those with a financial need.

“We are a service organization whose mission is ‘To Serve,’” the Fenwick Island Lions Club’s Bruce Schoonover said in explaining the reason they are offering the new program. “While there are many groups in the U.S. and around the world that need help, we believe that veterans, because of the sacrifices they and their families have made in defending our freedoms, deserve our respect and our help.

“This is but one initiative that the Fenwick Island Lions Club is undertaking for our veterans. We are especially proud to be working together with the VFW and American Legion, who are also dedicated to serving veterans and the greater community.”