CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness, a nonprofit eye health and safety organization, is launching a new campaign titled, “It Started With an Eye Exam” to encourage consumers to share their stories of how eyecare had a positive impact on their health and well-being. The goal of the new program is to increase awareness about the role that vision health plays in overall health, demonstrate the dramatic impact that improved vision can have on productivity and quality of life, and to educate the general public about steps they can take to prepare for an eye examination, according to an announcement from the organization.

The “It Started With an Eye Exam” program is supported by funding from Viatris Inc., a global health care company.

Starting today, as part of Healthy Vision Month, Prevent Blindness said it will begin sharing stories on its social media channels of those whose lives have been positively impacted through eyecare and treatment. Followers are also invited to share their stories, using #ItStartedWithanEyeExam or submit their stories to Prevent Blindness for sharing at

The organization notes that eye health is essential across all age groups. Without early detection and treatment, uncorrected vision disorders in children can impair their development, interfere with learning, and even lead to permanent vision loss, according to a report from the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness. Additionally, visual functioning is a strong predictor of academic performance in school-age children. For older people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, one in four Americans aged 65 years and older experiences a fall, the leading cause of injury among older adults. Impaired vision more than doubles the risk of a fall, Prevent Blindness noted.

For many, access to eyecare begins with a certified vision screening. Prevent Blindness, and its network of affiliates, partners with many leading companies, such as AEG Vision, EssilorLuxottica Foundation, VSP Vision and Zenni, to help provide vouchers for eye exams and prescription glasses for individuals who do not pass a vision screening and are unable to afford care on their own.

Additionally, a dilated eye exam from an eyecare professional is also essential, as it can uncover a variety of other serious health issues. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a comprehensive eye exam may detect the following:

● Aneurysm
● Brain tumor
● Cancer
● Diabetes
● Heart disease
● High blood pressure
● High cholesterol
● Lupus
● Multiple sclerosis
● Rheumatoid arthritis
● Sickle cell disease
● Stroke

“As a public health advocacy organization, our mission is to help educate the public on the importance of healthy vision, and help to provide access to eyecare for all,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Through the new ‘It Started With an Eye Exam’ campaign, our goal is to share real stories of those whose lives have positively changed through eyecare services, including eye exams.”

Prevent Blindness provides a free directory of vision care assistance resources in English and Spanish at To share your story through the "It Started With an Eye Exam" program, click here. For general vision and eye health information, click here.