AGS marks World Glaucoma Day with screenings on Capitol Hill

March 6, 2008

In honor of World Glaucoma Day, the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) invited congressional representatives and their aides to an educational luncheon briefing and glaucoma screening at the Rayburn House Office Building this afternoon.

In honor of World Glaucoma Day, the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) invited congressional representatives and their aides to an educational luncheon briefing and glaucoma screening at the Rayburn House Office Building this afternoon.

AGS President Robert N. Weinreb, MD, pictured at left, welcomed attendees to the event and stressed the importance of glaucoma awareness, patient education, and need for increased National Eye Institute research funding.

Glaucoma, the second leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States, can be avoided with awareness and early detection, he said.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) urged attendees to make the message available to everyone.

"We need to be concerned about people's sight, no matter where in the world they live," he said.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) worked closely with the AGS and Rep. Sessions and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in developing House Resolution 981, which recognized March 6 as World Glaucoma Day. Members of the AGS advocated for increased Fiscal Year 2009 NEI funding in more than 100 Congressional offices, according to the NAEVR.

Several proclamations were announced in observance of the event, including those from President Bush, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.

Attendees had access to a number of screening devices that evaluate the optic nerve and measure IOP. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) said imaging technologies are key to the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease, including glaucoma.Screening instruments were provided by
Carl Zeiss Meditec, Heidelberg Engineering, Reichert, and Ziemer.