I had excellent care and I now have 20/20 vision … Thank you all so very much for giving me my eyesight back so that I can do the things I love most, seeing my husband, children, grand children and my great grand children. They are not a blur anymore.
San Francisco, CA (Vocus) June 24, 2010
Imagine not being able to read the newspaper, watch television, or drive your car. These are a few of the things many seniors have trouble doing due to various eye diseases. In fact, by the age of 65, one in three Americans has some form of vision impairing eye disease. However, with the U.S. economy experiencing a major downturn, senior communities on fixed incomes are struggling to pay for health care.
In light of this, EyeCare America is reminding seniors, ''Don't Lose Sight of Your Independence.'' The national health campaign is intended to remind the senior community about the value of eyesight and encourage seniors 65 and older to visit EyeCare America’s online referral center at http://www.eyecareamerica.org to see if they qualify for an eye exam and care, often at no-out-of-pocket cost.
“I had excellent care and I now have 20/20 vision and it is so very good,'' said Melva Rayles, an EyeCare America patient from Warner, Oklahoma. ''Now I can do all of my crocheting and knitting. Thank you all so very much for giving me my eyesight back so that I can do the things I love most, seeing my husband, children, grand children and my great grand children. They are not a blur anymore.”
The program provides a comprehensive eye exam and care for any disease detected in the initial visit for up to one year, at no out-of-pocket cost, for seniors who are without an ophthalmologist (a medical eye doctor). To see immediately if you, a loved one or a friend, 65 and older, is eligible to receive a referral for an eye exam and care, visit http://www.eyecareamerica.org .
EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, operates one of the largest programs of its kind in American medicine. All eligible callers receive a referral to one of 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists. Volunteer physicians agree to accept Medicare or other insurance as payment in full, resulting in no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Eligible individuals without insurance are seen at no charge.
EyeCare America is designed for people who:
- Are U.S. citizens or legal residents
- Are age 65 and older
- Have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years
- Do not belong to an HMO or the VA
About EyeCare America
Established in 1985, EyeCare America, the public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is committed to the preservation of sight, accomplishing its mission through public service and education. EyeCare America provides eye care services to the medically underserved and for those at increased risk for eye disease through its corps of 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to serving their communities. More than 90 percent of the care made available is provided at no out-of-pocket cost to the patients. Since its inception, EyeCare America has helped more than 1 million people. EyeCare America is a non-profit program whose success is made possible through charitable contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. More information can be found at: http://www.eyecareamerica.org .
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Neves -- 415.447.0385 or aneves(at)aao(dot)org
NOTE TO EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: High-resolution images and b-roll as well as interviews with EyeCare America physicians and patients available upon request.