Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Volunteers Support ‘Opening Eyes’ Program At 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games
The hospital is part of the network of healthcare assets for Mubadala, which is the official partner of the Special Olympics World Summer Games.
People of determination often have a higher incidence of eye problems, because of the challenges they face in articulating health problems, lack of access to specialist medical care, and the higher prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes that can lead to vision problems.
The ‘Opening Eyes’ program is part of the ‘Healthy Athletes’ initiative that supports athletes of determination taking part in the Games. It offers eye testing and screening, providing glasses for athletes or referring them for follow-up care, depending on their diagnosis.
“On average, on a team of ten athletes at the Special Olympics, four will require glasses and two may have some form of serious eye disease, such as glaucoma. The ‘Opening Eyes’ initiative has played a key role in helping identify potential issues at earlier Special Olympics, and we are proud to be able to provide Cleveland Clinic levels of support for the Games in Abu Dhabi,” says Dr. Scott Smith, Chair of the Eye Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Athletes at the 2019 World Games will have access to a range of health screening and education programs as part of the ‘Healthy Athletes’ initiative. The program offers competitors access to health screenings and preventative care, as well as providing education on healthy lifestyles. Staff from across Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Eye Institute received special training in order to prepare and direct the eye health screenings at the event.
Since the inception of the ‘Healthy Athletes’ program in 1997, almost two million health screenings have taken place in 130 countries. Over 100,000 pairs of glasses, as well as hearing aids and orthotics, have been provided as part of the Special Olympics’ mission to transform the lives of its athletes.
Experts from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi have provided eye-screening support at other major events in the region. “Our experience at the MENA Games in 2018 demonstrated the vision challenges some of the competitors face, particularly since many of whom have never been screened for vision problems,” says Dr. Smith.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi with be joined by other assets within the Mubadala network, including Healthpoint and Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, in supporting the ‘Healthy Athletes’ program.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Eye Institute offers patients state-of-the-art digital imaging, surgical and laser procedures. The Institute provides medical and surgical treatments ranging from laser vision correction (including LASIK and SMILE) to procedures for more serious ophthalmic conditions including uveitis and diabetic eye disorders, in both adults and children.
To book an appointment at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Eye Institute, call 800 8 CCAD (2223) or visit www.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae.