Lion’s Club Furthers Eyecare With New Device

NORFOLK — The Norfolk Lions Club’s eye care assistance program just got a boost.

The Lions debuted their new eye scanner at their pancake feed in February. Member Tim Ernst says the device works on anyone six months of age and up.

“The closest you have to get to a little one is about three feet away,” Ernst said. “You know, little ones can’t talk, they’re not going to sit still to where you can put a regular diagnostic device on them.”

The scanner is about the size of an old polaroid camera and can identify eye problems from a comfortable distance away. And the new technology is already paying off. Ernst says they checked 137 people at the pancake feed and 13 percent failed the scanner’s test, including five or six children who had glasses but weren’t wearing them.

“So it gives the parents a chance to say wear your glasses, that’s why you have them,” Ernst said.

One of those scanned has already applied for assistance with vision costs with the Lion’s Club. Sight and Diabetes Chairman Lynn Stewart says the Club will help with costs up to $175.

“We try to stretch that budget as far as we can go,” Stewart said. “Help as many people as we can.”

And the eye care assistance program is popular. President Adam Thompson said he received three calls about applying yesterday alone. He says it’s especially important to help younger people.

“I think it’s important for them to get that identified as soon as possible, especially by age five, is essential so they can get it corrected,” Thompson said. “We will do that for free.”

The new eye scanner is available for use by other area Lions Clubs as well.