Ghana Optometric Association cautions against patronizing wayside spectacles


The Ghana Optometric Association (GOA) has cautioned the public to refrain from acquiring spectacles from wayside table-top dealers when in need of visual aids.

“Buying it from wayside vendors could end up destroying your eyes,” Dr. Kwame Oben-Nyarko, Chief Executive Officer of Third Eye Care and Vision Center stated at the third of the series of Ghana News Agency-Tema Regional Office and the Ghana Optometric Association fortnightly public sensitization initiative “GNA-GOA: My Eye! My Vision!

Dr. Oben-Nyarko said spectacles are used for the correction of several conditions, including doubling of vision and latent and manifest deviations of the eyes, therefore, acquiring it from the wayside could rather endanger the eyes.

“Spectacles (glasses) are visual aids usually used to enhance the quality of vision and to protect the eyes from exposure to direct contact to several environmental factors, which could be detrimental to the eyes of the individual.’

The initiative is a collaborative public education advocacy campaign to promote the need for people to access eye care and to draw attention to vision health.

The GNA-GOA: My Eyes! My Vision! initiative also seeks to challenge the public and policymakers to focus on vision as a health issue, since it forms a critical component of mankind’s wellbeing, which is often neglected.

“You will find street vendors and pharmacies selling spectacles. However, these outfits do not have the required professionals and training necessary for dispensing spectacles so it is improper to select such places as the place of choice for acquiring spectacles,” he warned.

Speaking on the topic: “Acquiring a pair of spectacles: What you need to know,” Dr. Oben-Nyarko urged the public to acquire spectacles from either an eye clinic or an optical shop, adding that, the eye clinic usually has departments that test for the spectacle prescription, display the spectacle frames and fit the lenses into frames.

He said to acquire a spectacle, one must go through several tests performed by the optometrist for a prescription to be arrived at.

“A proper eye examination will not only give the spectacle prescription but can also expose other conditions that could be present but showing no symptoms like glaucoma, hypertension, and diabetes.”

Dr. Oben-Nyarko advised the general public that even though these processes may sound cumbersome, it is good to know the needs of a person before prescribing a spectacle, and that, it was unethical to get glasses from street vendors or pharmacies, which do not have accredited eye clinics.

Dr Kingsley Hedornu, Optometrist at the Tema Christian Eye Center on his part, said eye care must be a priority of everyone, “we must not wait until there is a problem.”

‘Proper eye care requires that at least once a year, you check your eyes to ensure that it is protected at all times’, Dr Hedornu said.

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