Orange County Eye Project

The goal of the Orange County Eye Project (OCEP) is to provide regular & sustainable specialized eye care to the underserved population in Orange County, CA, with the goal of  preventing and reducing blindness in this population.

As part of the project, we encourage teaching and research. Ophthalmology Fellows and residents evaluate and treat patients under supervision, as well as teach medical students and pre med students who shadow them. They are encouraged to conduct research and write papers.

 

Future dates for OCEP Clinic:

  • October 23
  • November 6
  • December 11

If you wish to volunteer, please contact us at ocep@retinaglobal.org.

 

Background:

The OC population has been estimated to be growing at 10% yearly. A significant part of this population growth is in the elderly. Advancing age increases the potential for developing eye diseases, with approximately 1 in 3 elderly people likely to develop some form of vision-reducing eye disease such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy by the age 65. Most of these ocular diseases, especially in their early stages, are asymptomatic. A significant number of these people get to know of their visual impairment late in the disease process. By that time, unfortunately, treatment is mainly to prevent further vision loss.

In addition, systemic diseases such as diabetes are on the increase in adults, especially in underserved populations. A conservative estimate of diabetes prevalence in OC is ~8%. One third of this population is likely to develop diabetic retinopathy, with the disease likely to lead to visual impairment and even blindness, if not screened and managed early on.

The poverty rate in OC is about 12.1%, while ~8% of the population is uninsured — a significant number of these people find it difficult to get health insurance, or access basic as well as specialized health services.

The OCEP project is in partnership with Lestonnac Free Clinic and Serve The People.

The program is run and managed by volunteers, with Retina Specialists and Ophthalmologists providing time and expertise for free to evaluate and treat patients in the clinic, while volunteer technicians and others check in patients, take history, and evaluate vision and eye pressure of the patients. Our volunteers come from all over Southern California. We thank all the volunteers for their willingness to help.

 

OCEP Advisory Board:

The Advisory Board of OCEP includes some of the leading ophthalmologists in the County, along with Dr. Raj Agrawal, CEO, Retina Global.

Support:

The OCEP program is supported by Alcon Foundation.

Norlase, an innovative laser company from Denmark, with offices in the US, provides us with their LION laser for use in the clinic, to perform laser photocoagulation on patients with diseases such as diabetic retinopathy.

Heidelberg Engineering US will be donating their OCT machine, Spectralis, to Retina Global for use in the clinic. With this machine, the OCEP program will be able to provide intravitreal injections for conditions such as wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.

If you wish to donate to this project, please click below.