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Get Out of the Dark With Routine Eye Exams

Every five seconds, someone goes blind, but in 80 percent of the cases, the blindness is preventable. Blindness from eye disease is often treatable, but only if its noticed early through routine eye exams.
To help prevent avoidable vision loss, EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is offering free eye exams by volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to a worthy cause. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye and vision care, from glasses to complex surgeries.
More than 45 million people worldwide are blind, says Richard P. Mills, MD. In many cases, the most severe eye diseases offer no warning signs, until its too late and vision loss is irreversible. But regular eye exams can help you catch problems early, while there is still time to treat conditions and prevent permanent loss of sight.
EyeCare America provides year-round eye exams at no out-of-pocket cost to people age 65 and over. Eye exams are provided by a corps of nearly 7,000 EyeCare America ophthalmologists across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
People who are interested
in the program can visit www.eyecareamerica.org to see if they are eligible. The organizations online referral center also enables friends and family members to find out instantly if their loved ones are eligible to be matched with an ophthalmologist.
While some eye diseases, such as cataracts, progress slowly and offer symptoms, serious eye problems, such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy, often offer few or no warning signs. They can be caught and treated in the early stages through a medical eye exam when preventive care is still possible. By the time these conditions do begin to show symptoms, such as blurred vision or black spots across the field of vision, often vision loss is irreversible.
EyeCare America provides services to medically under-served seniors and those at a high risk for eye disease. Since its inception, EyeCare America has helped over 1.5 million people.
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