October is World Blindness Awareness Month

October 15, 2005

Recognizing October as World Blindness Awareness Month, EyeCare America?the public service foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology?encourages people to call its toll-free helpline to see if they are eligible for a free eye exam and up to 1 year of eye care at no cost.

Chicago-Recognizing October as World Blindness Awareness Month, EyeCare America-the public service foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology-encourages people to call its toll-free helpline to see if they are eligible for a free eye exam and up to 1 year of eye care at no cost.

More than two-thirds of visually impaired adults in the United States are over 65 years of age. Nearly 20.5 million Americans age 6 and older are afflicted with cataracts, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. The prevalence of blindness increases rapidly in later years, particularly after age 75. The number of Americans with age-related eye disease is expected to double within the next three decades unless something is done to reverse the trend, according to the foundation.

EyeCare America is a year-round program offering eye exams and care to seniors, age 65 or older, who are without an ophthalmologist. Prospective patients can find out whether they qualify by calling 800/222-EYES (3937). The EyeCare America helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.