EyeCare America promotes vision loss prevention in U.S. through no out of pocket-cost eye exams and care
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 180 million people suffer from blindness or visual impairment globally, yet 75 percent of blindness could be prevented or treated with sight-saving eye care. In observance of World Blindness Awareness Month, EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, urges the public to make eye exams and care a top priority to maintain their healthy vision.
A variety of problems are responsible for blindness around the world, and the leading causes of blindness and vision loss in the United States are age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. More than two-thirds of visually impaired adults in the U.S. are age 65 or older. The number of Americans with age-related eye disease is expected to double within the next three decades unless something is done to reverse the trend.
To better prevent blindness in the U.S., EyeCare America encourages seniors to visit www.eyecareamerica.org to find out if they qualify for an eye exam and up to one year of care at no out-of-pocket cost. EyeCare America matches eligible patients age 65 and older with an ophthalmologist – an eye medical doctor – who will provide a comprehensive medical eye examination.
“Regular eye exams are imperative to detect and treat eye diseases and prevent serious vision loss,” said Richard P. Mills, M.D., chairman of EyeCare America. “This is especially true for people age 65 and older who are at increased risk for eye diseases. That’s why EyeCare America is so focused on providing access to eye care, and we hope that fewer people will suffer from preventable causes of blindness as a result.”
EyeCare America is made possible through the generous support of the Knights Templar Foundation, Genentech and Alcon. To see if you or a loved one is eligible, visit the online referral center at www.eyecareamerica.org.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons – Eye M.D.s – with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org. The Academy’s EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve their healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trustworthy and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org to learn more.
About EyeCare America
Established in 1985, EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is committed to the preservation of sight, accomplishing its mission through public service and education. EyeCare America provides year-round eye care services to medically underserved seniors and those at increased risk for eye disease through its corps of nearly 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to serving their communities. More than 90 percent of the care made available is provided at no out-of-pocket cost to the patients. More information can be found at: www.eyecareamerica.org.