Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can lead to damage to the optic nerve and vision loss. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and most often occurs in people over age 40.
About 3 million Americans in this age group have the disease today (but only about half are aware they have it). This number could reach 4.2 million by 2030, according to the National Eye Institute.
Join the Glaucoma Research Foundation in marking National Glaucoma Awareness Month this January.
Partner with a local ophthalmologist to teach a class at a local senior center on the need for and benefits of annual glaucoma screenings and early detection.
Drop in at local senior centers, assisted living facilities and VFW locations and remind the seniors there that Medicare provides an annual dilated eye exam to Medicare beneficiaries at a high risk for glaucoma. These include African Americans and those with diabetes or a family history of glaucoma.
Contact your local Lions Club International affiliate and become an advocate in your community’s eyeglass recycling efforts. Visit www.lionsclubs.org for more information. Distribute your vision health flyers to all the members.
Distribute professional flyers to your entire market stating the benefits of your services relative to low-vision patient care.
- Contact your local newspaper’s health reporter or your local television news stations and offer to discuss the potential blindness epidemic that awaits us if glaucoma screenings do not increase. In addition to discussing the services your agency can provide, be sure to connect them with a patient who has glaucoma (be sure to identify and get the patient’s permission first).