AAO encourages patient visits during Save Your Vision Month

February 9, 2011

February is ?Save Your Vision Month,? and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is encouraging Americans over the age of 40 to make an appointment for an eye examination. According to AAO, by 2020 43 million Americans will be at risk for significant vision loss or blindness from age-related eye diseases such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration?an increase of more than 50% over the current number of Americans with these diseases.

San Francisco-February is “Save Your Vision Month,” and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is encouraging Americans over the age of 40 to make an appointment for an eye examination.

According to AAO, by 2020 43 million Americans will be at risk for significant vision loss or blindness from such age-related eye diseases as cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration-an increase of more than 50% over the current number of Americans with these diseases.

“Eye diseases become more common as we age, but eye problems can occur at any age. Getting a comprehensive eye exam, and following through with the recommendations of [an ophthalmologist] can be the difference in saving your vision or preventing further vision loss later in life,” said Aaron Weingeist, MD, an ophthalmologist in Seattle and a clinical correspondent for AAO. “Many patients will have no recognizable symptoms of vision loss, but it is important to identify, monitor, and treat early.”

Along with a baseline eye exam at the age of 40, the Academy recommends the following regular eye exam schedule for adults with no risk factors:

• 65 years of age or older, every 1 to 2 years

• 55 to 64 years of age, every 1 to 3 years

• 40 to 54 years of age, every 2 to 4 years

• Under 40 years of age, every 5 to 10 years.

AAO noted that education and awareness are also part of the eye health equation. In order to provide the public with the most accurate eye health information available, AAO, has launched a comprehensive new web site, GetEyeSmart.org, to help bring reliable eye health information to the public.