The Utility of Recycled Eyeglasses: A Pilot Study at the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
The cost of eyeglasses is variably covered by medical insurance and thus is a significant barrier for patients in lower socioeconomic classes. We wanted to evaluate the efficacy of Recycle Vision (RV) at LAC+USC Medical Center, a monthly clinic run by volunteer medical students that provides free donated eyeglasses.
A convenience sample of 30 patients were surveyed from August 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. Patients’ prescriptions were matched with available eyeglasses based on spherical equivalent and axis of astigmatism using Winglasses software algorithm; patients selected glasses from these options based on subjective improvement of vision. All participants consented to a phone follow-up survey 1 month after initial visit to gauge satisfaction with glasses and rate difficulty in completing daily activities pre- and post-RV visit on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the greatest), with a 100% response rate.
Of the 30 study participants, 90% received eyeglasses from RV, with reported improvement in ease of daily activities of 3.96. 67% of respondents stated that if RV clinic did not exist, they would not have obtained glasses elsewhere; cost was the most commonly (70%) cited barrier. Upon follow-up, average likelihood of patients referring friends/family to RV was 4.07 (SD 1.14).
The majority of RV patients received free eyeglasses and had subsequent improvement in their quality of life. This pilot study demonstrates that programs offering free eyeglasses can effectively correct refractive error and can offer a practical public health solution to improve functionality for underserved populations.
Vos T, Allen C, Arora M. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet 2016; 388(10053): 1545-1602.
Flaxman SR, Bourne RRA, Resnikoff S, Ackland P, Braithwaite T, Cicinelli MV et al. Global causes of blindness and distance vision impairment 1990-2020: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health 2017; 5(12): e1221-e1234.
Berry JL, Cuzzo LM, Bababeygy SR, Quiros PA. Unmet need for corrective eyeglasses: results from a Los Angeles County Hospital survey. Int Ophthalmol 2012; 32(3): 245-50.
Global Initiative for the Elimination of Avoidable Blindness: action plan 2006-2011. World Health Organization: France, 2007.
Wang W, Yan W, Muller A, al e. Association of Socioeconomics With Prevalence of Visual Impairment and Blindness. JAMA Ophthalmol 2017; 135(12): 1295-1302.
Services. DoHC. Medi-Cal Vision Benefits. In: State of California, 2020.
Gharaibeh A, Koppikar S, J. Bonilla-Escobar F. Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) in the International Journal of Medical Students. International Journal of Medical Students 2014; 2(2): 36-37.
Dandona L, Dandona R. What is the global burden of visual impairment? BMC Med 2006; 4: 6.
Levin D. Scojo Foundation provides affordable eyeglasses to the poorest countries. In: The New York Times. Gopal Pet, India, 2007.
OneSight. Get Help. In: OneSight, 2020.
Naidoo KS, Fricke TR, Frick KD, al e. Potential Lost Productivity Resulting from the Global Burden of Myopia: Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Modeling. Ophthalmology 2019; 126(3): 338-346.
Smith TS, Frick KD, Holden BA, al e. Potential lost productivity resulting from the global burden of uncorrected refractive error. Bull World Health Organ 2009; 87(6): 431-7.
Baggett TP, O'Connell JJ, Singer DE, Rigotti NA. The unmet health care needs of homeless adults: a national study. Am J Public Health 2010; 100(7): 1326-33.
Cumberland PM, Chianca A, Rahi JS, Eye UKB, Vision C. Accuracy and Utility of Self-report of Refractive Error. JAMA Ophthalmol 2016; 134(7): 794-801.
Bowie H, Congdon NG, Lai H, West SK. Validity of a personal and family history of cataract and cataract surgery in genetic studies. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2003; 44(7): 2905-8.
Bonilla-Escobar FJ. Fighting blindness with a Guerrilla: The Guerrilla Eye Service of Pittsburgh. International Journal of Medical Students 2017; 5(3): 117-120.
Williams AM, Botsford B, Mortensen P, Park D, Waxman EL. Delivering mobile eye care to underserved communities while providing training in ophthalmology to medical students: experience of the Guerrilla Eye Service. Clin Ophthalmol 2019; 13: 337-346.
Copyright (c) 2021 Valerie Huang, Mary Kim, Sukriti Mohan, Lauren Daskivich, Jesse Berry
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site; with the understanding that the above condition can be waived with permission from the Author and that where the Work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from the Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.
Enforcement of copyright
The IJMS takes the protection of copyright very seriously.
If the IJMS discovers that you have used its copyright materials in contravention of the license above, the IJMS may bring legal proceedings against you seeking reparation and an injunction to stop you using those materials. You could also be ordered to pay legal costs.
If you become aware of any use of the IJMS' copyright materials that contravenes or may contravene the license above, please report this by email to email@example.com
If you become aware of any material on the website that you believe infringes your or any other person's copyright, please report this by email to firstname.lastname@example.org