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Information about a New Screening Program for AMD
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Irv Arons
medicine forum beginner

Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:26 pm    Post subject: Information about a New Screening Program for AMD Reply with quote

I received a news release from Prevent Blindness America, announcing a
new 15 city screening and seminar program for older Americans, put on
by Prevent Blindness America and the Macular Degeneration Partnership.

Here's the news release:

All Eyes on Health: Legendary Actress Betty White Urges People to Get
Serious About Their Vision

Age-related Macular Degeneration is the Leading Cause of Blindness in
Americans Over Age 60, Yet New Survey Shows Significant Awareness Gap

April 25, 2006 - Los Angeles, CA - Today legendary actress Betty
White kicks off My Eye Health™: In the Wink of an Eye™, a national
campaign to educate Americans about age-related macular degeneration,
also called AMD, and the importance of early detection and treatment.
AMD is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over age 60.

About 15 million Americans - almost one in four over the age of 50
- have AMD which may severely impact the ability to read, watch TV,
drive or even recognize faces of family and friends. AMD is classified
in two forms: dry AMD and wet AMD. Wet AMD is the more advanced and
most threatening form as it can develop rapidly; often leading to
severe vision loss in the affected eye within months.

A new survey shows that only 55 percent of those over age 65 are aware
of wet AMD, and less than 10 percent of the same age population knew
that vision can deteriorate rapidly with wet AMD. More than half of
adults aged 65 and older did not know that there are treatment options
available for wet AMD.

"AMD is devastating to those who have it and the thought of losing my
vision is too much to bear. When I learned that vision may be
preserved when wet AMD is caught and treated early, I wanted to spread
the word to as many people as possible," said national spokesperson
Betty White. "We should all monitor our vision and encourage our
friends, family and peers to do the same."

The earlier wet AMD is diagnosed and treated, the better vision
outcomes may be. Yet many people wait too long to see their eye
doctor after noticing vision changes. By not recognizing the urgency
of the situation, they are putting their vision at risk.

The My Eye Health campaign will educate the public about signs and
symptoms of wet AMD and the importance of early diagnosis and
treatment, which may result in better vision outcomes. Eye doctors can
diagnose wet AMD before patients even notice any changes, so annual
check-ups are a key way to catch wet AMD early.

"Fortunately, the ophthalmology community and patients have benefited
from major advances in how wet AMD is treated. Studies show that early
treatment may yield the most effective outcomes, so it is important
that patients recognize wet AMD symptoms and see their eye doctor right
away if they notice any changes in vision," said Carmen A. Puliafito,
M.D. M.B.A., Director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Chairman
of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Miami Miller
School of Medicine.

For Americans who are most at-risk for AMD, one way to check their
vision at home daily is by using a simple self-monitoring tool called
the Amsler grid. Free copies of the Amsler grid along with
instructions on how to use it are available through www.myeyehealth.org
or by calling 1-866-702-EYES (866-702-3937).

For more information please check out: http://www.myeyehealth.org
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