(ARA) - As someone?s sight diminishes, so does the ability to fully experience some of life?s richest moments -- a grandchild learning to ride a bike, for example, or any number of nature?s visual wonders. Furthermore, when people go blind, they face loss of independence and are more likely to suffer from depression.
Glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the United States, is a group of eye diseases that gradually steals sight without warning and often without symptoms. In fact, nearly 3 million people have glaucoma, but half do not realize it. Approximately 120,000 are blind from glaucoma, accounting for 9 percent to 12 percent of all cases of blindness in the United States. more likely to go blind than non-diabetics. EyeCare America, the public service foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, encourages people to take advantage of its national Glaucoma EyeCare Program. This program offers glaucoma eye screenings and care for those at increased risk of glaucoma. To see if you, a loved one or a friend, is eligible to receive a referral for an eye exam and care, call (800) 391-EYES (3937), 24 hours, seven days a week, year round. All eligible callers receive a referral to one EyeCare America?s volunteer ophthalmologists.
?If it wasn?t for EyeCare America my husband may have lost his sight to glaucoma,? said Eva Gordon, wife of an EyeCare America patient.
The Glaucoma EyeCare Program promotes early detection and treatment of glaucoma. It raises awareness of glaucoma risk factors, provides free glaucoma educational materials and facilitates access to a glaucoma eye examination. The Glaucoma EyeCare Program is designed for people who:
* Are U.S. citizens or legal residents
* Have not had an eye exam in 12 months or more
* Are at increased risk for glaucoma (family history, race, age)
People may call the toll-free help line anytime, for themselves and/or family members and friends, to see if they qualify for a glaucoma eye exam or to request free eye care information.
Those eligible for a referral through the Glaucoma program receive a glaucoma eye exam and the initiation of treatment, if deemed necessary. Patients with insurance will be billed and are responsible for any co-payments and/or the cost of the eye examination. Uninsured patients will receive the above care at no charge.
Founded in 1980, EyeCare America, the public service foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is committed to the preservation of sight, accomplishing its mission through public service and education. In the United States, EyeCare America is one of the largest providers of eye care services to the medically underserved and educates the general public about the eye and vision. In developing nations, EyeCare America helps improve eye care by providing free educational resources and materials to ophthalmologists in those regions. EyeCare America is a non-profit organization whose success is made possible by its corps of more than 7,500 volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to serving their communities and through charitable contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. More information can be found at: www.eyecareamerica.org
Call EyeCare America?s Glaucoma EyeCare program today. There is a dedicated volunteer ophthalmologist in your area committed to preserving your sight.
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