Baltimore Fights Glaucoma With Free Preventive Screenings: All-volunteer Group Aims to Screen 500 People in Less Than Twelve Hours

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The Eyes Have It Program offers free monthly glaucoma screenings to all Baltimore area citizens. Glaucoma is a blinding eye disease affecting an estimated 70 million people worldwide. This disease steals sight without any obvious warning signs.

The Eyes Have It Program (EHIP) offers free monthly screenings to all Baltimore area citizens. Glaucoma is a blinding eye disease affecting an estimated 70 million people worldwide. This disease steals sight without any obvious warning signs. For unknown reasons, African-Americans are 3-4 times more likely to get glaucoma than others.

High-risk groups include:
o    People with family history of the disease
o    People over 60
o    African-Americans
o    Diabetics
o    People who are extremely nearsighted or farsighted
o    Long-time users of steroid medications
o    The victim of a severe eye trauma
o    Hispanics
o    Russian Jews
o    American Indians

Sam Polakoff, Chairman of the Forest Hill, Maryland based Polakoff Foundation and a founding member of The Eyes Have It Program stated, "We have less than twelve hours of screening time across four remaining sessions before the end of 2009. Our goal is to screen at least 500 high-risk people."

Screenings are painless and take only a few minutes. The Eyes Have It Program maintains programs for uninsured people who are referred for medical attention due to glaucoma. No appointment is necessary. Light refreshments are available for citizens who are screened.

Sight lost to glaucoma can never be recovered making early detection through screening imperative.

Baltimore-area citizens wanting information on upcoming screenings may call 410-601-7295 or access the online Glaucoma Screenings page at http://www.fightglaucoma.org.

Upcoming Free Screenings

September 15, 2009
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Krieger Eye Institute
Sinai Hospital
Morton Mower Building - 6th Floor
2411 W. Belvedere Ave.

October 22, 2009
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Good Samaritan Hospital
Main Lobby
5601 Loch Raven Blvd.

November 9, 2009
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Bon Secours Hospital
Main Lobby
2000 W. Baltimore St.

December 9, 2009
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Harbor Hospital
Baum Auditorium
3001 S. Hanover St.

More About Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a set of eye diseases that affects nearly 70 million people worldwide and three million people in the United States. Glaucoma is called "The Silent Thief" as it often steals the victim's sight without any obvious warning signs. At present, sight lost to glaucoma can never be recovered. The optic nerve is what sends images from the eye to the brain. In a glaucoma patient, fluid build-up causes the intraocular pressure (IOP) to rise. Elevated IOP can ultimately cause damage to the optic nerve leading to irreversible blindness. Elevated IOP is only one factor in diagnosing glaucoma. The eye doctor will also evaluate the size of the optic nerve and provide a test for peripheral vision loss. All of these factors will contribute to a glaucoma diagnosis. Learn more about glaucoma. Obtain information on glaucoma by accessing the Glaucoma Information page at http://www.fightglaucoma.org.

More About The Eyes Have It Program
Several sight-saving organizations joined together in 2008 to form an exciting, all-volunteer program to provide glaucoma screening and education to the people of Baltimore to prevent the unnecessary loss of vision from this disease. The participants of The Eyes Have It Program are:

·    The Baltimore City Health Department
·    The Polakoff Foundation
·    The Maryland Society for Sight
·    Krieger Eye Institute at Sinai Hospital
·    Glaucoma Research Foundation
·    Anne Arundel Eye Center
·    Maryland Optometric Association (MOA)

Download The Eyes Have It Program explanatory document by visiting the Important Links page at http://www.fightglaucoma.org

Ophthalmologists, optometrists or eye care technicians who wish to volunteer to work screenings should access the Volunteer Doctors link on the Glaucoma Screenings page at http://www.fightglaucoma.org

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Sam Polakoff

Ted Dixon
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