The Boardman Lions Club is getting ready for an important community service on Sunday, Sept. 1 at the Canfield Fair. The club's 34 members will be offering free eye exams in the Medical Building at the west end of the fairgrounds.
"We've been doing this since around the mid-1980s," said Boardman Lions member Judy Jones.
She said the Lions offer two different tests using special machines on which they are trained. The first is commonly referred to as the puff test. It uses a machine that generates a tiny puff of air at the eye to test for glaucoma.
The second test is the Humphrey Field Vision test, which checks for peripheral vision. That machine is looking for macular degeneration that causes the field of view to narrow.
"The tests are targeting older fairgoers," Jones said.
The machines are actually stored at the Eye Care Foundation in Alliance, but are used by 53 area Lions Clubs for eye screening as a free community service. During the fair, local Lions Clubs staff the booth in the Medical Building and offer the free eye exams.
Those who want the free service fill out a card ahead of time. The card is given back to them with the results of the test. If a problem is detected, the person is told about it and it is up to them to follow up with their own eye doctor.
The Lions Clubs also have access to a children's machine, but it requires a certain type of lighting that is not available in the fairground buildings. It was used over the summer at Boardman Park to give screenings to more than 80 children. Jones said seven were found to have eye problems and one was a two-year-old who needed glasses.
The Boardman Lions, like other Lions clubs, are concerned about vision and are doing what they can to help people. Besides the screenings they do, they are also involved in a variety of community events, such as litter control along the highways and a host of events geared to help others.
The Boardman Lions will be staffing the fair booth from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Other local Lions Clubs will be there on the other fair days.