Wednesday, February 21 , 2018, 7:50 pm | Fair 52º


SEE International Offering Vision Care for All Affected by Thomas Fire

In response to the Thomas Fire that is sweeping across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, Santa Barbara-based nonprofit SEE International has expanded its annual Children’s Sight Week to serve community members of all ages.

We are offering free eye screenings, glasses and medications to residents of the affected areas. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 805.963.3303. Appointments will be available at our Oxnard, Goleta and Santa Maria clinic locations.

We are very grateful to our supporters who help make Children's Sight Week possible. This year, we would like to express our deepest thanks to our leading sponsor, Montecito Bank & Trust, as well as our supporting sponsors: Junior League of Santa Barbara, Union Bank, Mission Wealth and the Santa Barbara Home Improvement Center.

In the meantime, we urge all community members to take care of their eyes. Smoke from the fire may affect your vision. The American Optometric Association has the following tips for people living near wildfire conditions:

» Stay indoors, if possible. Limit outdoor exposure, where smoke can affect your ocular surface.

» Make sure your car and home air conditioners are set to recirculate, so outside air isn’t drawn inward.

» Use nightly ointments, artificial tears or cold compresses to relieve pain.

» Ask your optometrist/ophthalmologist about a more aggressive option, if necessary. If you are concerned about smoke doing lasting damage to your vision, it may be appropriate to set up treatments with your doctor.

» Practice good hygiene. Contact lens patients may begin suffering discomfort or even slight inflammation when there is smoke in the air. Make sure you are cleaning your contact lenses regularly.

— Stephen Bunnell is the communications coordinator for SEE International.

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