AAO initiates EyeSmart program to educate about eye disease

September 5, 2007

San Francisco ̬ The risk of age-related eye disease is one that Americans do not realize according to a national health survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The AAO is issuing a new public initiative in response called EyeSmart to educate Americans about the risks they face.

San Francisco - The risk of age-related eye disease is one that Americans do not realize according to a national health survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The AAO is issuing a new public initiative in response called EyeSmart to educate Americans about the risks they face.

Only 11% of Americans find themselves at high risk for eye disease according to a survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Americans over the age of 65 are the most at risk, however, only 10% believe they are at risk.

Age-related eye diseases such as cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration are expected to increase from 28 million to 43 million by the year 2020, according to the organization. Americans are more concerned with weight gain and joint and back pain then they are with vision loss.

It is by recommendation of the AAO that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40. For people with a family history of eye disease, diabetes or high blood pressure they should consult their doctor to determine how often an examination is needed.