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AOA Partners With Lyft To Offer Free Rides to Get Comprehensive Eye Exams

Rides are available in 10 cities.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – The American Optometric Association announced today that it is working with Lyft, the transportation network, to offer free rides to people in select cities in an effort to make it easier to get their a comprehensive eye exam with a doctor of optometry.

For a limited time, the AOA is offering a free round-trip ride (up to $25) with rideshare partner Lyft to anyone traveling to the optometrist beginning March 2, while supplies last. Rides will be offered in 10 cities: Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, Miami, New York City, St. Louis and Seattle. Here’s where to go to access your local Lyft code.

“We want to ensure people are able to attend their annual comprehensive eye exams and understand the importance of protecting not only their vision, but their overall health,” said Barbara L. Horn, OD, AOA president. “By partnering with Lyft, we are able to help more people overcome a significant barrier and allow them to see an AOA doctor of optometry.”

According to AOA’s annual Eye-Q Survey, more than a quarter of Americans say getting their comprehensive eye exam is challenging because it’s hard to get to the location. The survey also found that 61% of millennials would use rideshare to get to an exam.

“Enabling better access to healthcare through reliable transportation is something that Lyft cares deeply about,” said Megan Callahan, vice president of healthcare at Lyft. “We know that rideshare plays a critical role in helping patients get the care they need, so we’re excited about the opportunity to broaden our impact in local communities through this initiative with the AOA, a leading authority in optometry.”

The AOA recently announced the launch of its “Start with Eye” campaign to make eye health and vision care a national priority in 2020. The public awareness campaign underscores the importance of receiving an in-person comprehensive eye examination with an AOA doctor of optometry as part of their annual health care routine.
While 95% of Americans say having good vision is important to their job, 58% of Americans have not gotten a comprehensive eye exam in the past two years, according to the survey.

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AOA notes:

Because eye health and vision problems may develop without any obvious signs or symptoms, in-person, annual comprehensive eye exams with doctors of optometry are important to detect early signs of visual system diseases such as glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. In addition, eye exams safeguard overall health by enabling the doctor of optometry to detect more than 270 serious health conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases and cancers

As with many systemic diseases, most eye diseases, if detected early, may be treated before detrimental effects on the health and vision can take place. If a problem is detected, doctors of optometry help patients and their families navigate to the right prevention plans or the next steps in official diagnosis and treatment. In 2018, for instance, doctors of optometry identified signs of diabetes in more than 301,000 patients who did not know they had it, leading to earlier management of the disease.

Get more information on the “Start with Eye” initiative.

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