Jamarcus Williams, 17, from Fort Worth, sat in front of a wooden wall. Through his virtual reality goggles, however, he explored the inside of an eyeball.
“It’s really cool. At first I was a little nervous, but then excited,” Williams said. “You can see inside the eyeball. It shows you everything. It was fun to learn how works your eye.
Williams attended Alcon’s eye screening tent on Main Street on April 8. The tent provided visual acuity tests, intraocular pressure measurements or eye pressure readings and retinal imaging to assess eye health.
Alcon conducted screenings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 8 at the intersection of Main and 5th streets.
Volunteers from the Community Eye Clinic, Prevent Blindness Texas and the North Texas Eye Research Institute assisted with non-invasive eye health screenings. Usually, eye projections dilate the patient’s pupils, which temporarily blurs vision.
Sean Powell, director of professional development at Alcon, said the visual screenings of the festival took just a few minutes and allowed people to go straight back to the arts festival without any blurry vision.
“It’s the perfect setting to remind people how valuable their eyesight is and the steps they need to take to protect it,” Powell said.
Eye pressure measurements allow doctors to identify glaucoma and take appropriate action to prevent it from spreading.
“We call glaucoma the silent thief of sight because it doesn’t create blurry vision. It doesn’t hurt and it takes a person’s vision from the outside in. So before they even realize there is a visual problem, they have already lost a significant amount of vision,” Powell said. “He can’t regenerate. So once you’ve lost that vision, you’ve lost it forever.
Williams walked the three stations and the eyeball tour in virtual reality. He said he would check his eyes more often.
Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement reporter at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Learn more about our editorial independence policy here.