Prevent Blindness America Launches “AMD: Awareness Makes a Difference” Campaign to Help Educate Public on Dangers of Eye Disease
Non-profit Organization to Hold Events Across the Country on Age-related Macular Degeneration, the Leading Cause of Blindness in Older Americans
CHICAGO (May, 2012) – Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness for people over 50 in the Western world. With no known cure, early detection and treatment are keys to saving sight. Prevent Blindness America and its affiliates across the country will once again be offering the “AMD: Awareness Makes a Difference” program with activities throughout the week of June 4-8.
AMD is characterized by loss of central vision, usually in both eyes. The person may experience a dark or empty spot in the center of their vision, distorted, wavy vertical lines or blurry text.
“The goal of the campaign is to educate seniors and their caretakers on AMD including risk factors, treatment options and assistance programs,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. “We hope everyone will help protect their vision by participating in this important program.”
Throughout the week, part of the AMD: Awareness Makes a Difference activities will include:
· Prevent Blindness America – Illinois will host a free informational presentation on AMD, followed by a free vision screening at the Loretto Hospital in Chicago from 10 a.m.- 1p.m.on June 5.
· Prevent Blindness Georgia- Jenny Pomeroy, CEO of Prevent Blindness Georgia, will speak to seniors about AMD at the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex in Sandy Springs, Ga., on Monday, June 4 at 1:30 p.m., followed by a free risk assessment.
· Prevent Blindness Ohio will post an AMD question on its Facebook page (facebook.com/pbohio) and Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/#!/PB_Ohio) each day from June 4-8 and provide additional information on its website. Prevent Blindness Ohio and Ohio’s Aging Eye Public Private Partnership will also recognize the efforts of Ohio Governor John Kasich for signing legislation establishing March as Macular Degeneration Awareness Month in Ohio by delivering an acknowledgement letter signed by the co-chairs of the Partnership, Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging and Dr. Robert Newcomb, professor of clinical optometry, The Ohio State University.
· Prevent Blindness Texas – will use social media to post an AMD Fact of the Day on its Facebook page (facebook.com/preventblindnesstexas) and Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/#!/PBTexas) each day for the week of June 4-8. Prevent Blindness Texas will also provide educational information on its website, and distribute information to local media outlets across the state.
Prevent Blindness America invites the public to visit “The AMD Learning Center” at preventblindness.org/amd. The Learning Center provides a variety of educational tools including AMD risk factors, treatment options and an Adult Vision Risk Assessment tool.
For information on the AMD: Awareness Makes a Difference program and local events, or for free information on AMD and other blinding eye diseases, please visit Prevent Blindness America at preventblindness.org/amd or call (800) 331-2020.
About Prevent Blindness America
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness America is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness America touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, divisions and chapters, Prevent Blindness America is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.