retinopathy is a leading
cause of vision loss among adults in the United States. It causes up to
24,000 new cases of vision loss each year.
Early detection, timely
and appropriate follow-up care can reduce the risk of blindness by 95
even for people with established and significant diabetic retinopathy.
In honor of Healthy Vision Month taking place in May
America, the public service foundation of the American Academy of
Ophthalmology, encourages seniors to take advantage of its Diabetes
This year-round program offers eye exams and up to one year of
treatment at no out-of-pocket cost to qualified patients. To see
loved one or a friend, is eligible to receive a referral for an eye
care, call 1-800-272-EYES (3937), 24 hours, seven days a week, year
All eligible callers receive a referral to one of EyeCare America's
7,500 volunteer ophthalmologists.
NOTE: There are about 20 doctors in the Cleveland area. When you call the toll free number they will screen to see if you qualify and then recommend a doctor. They do not publicize the doctors names ahead of time.
"A significant percentage of the millions of
patients with diabetes are at
risk of losing their eye sight," stated C.P. Wilkinson, MD,
of EyeCare America's Diabetes EyeCare Program.
prevent blindness through annual dilated eye exams. I am honored to be
a program that helps provide access to important medical eye care to
Healthy Vision Month is a national campaign
by the National Eye
Institute and the National Eye Health Education Program. The focus of
Vision Month 2004 is to reduce visual impairment due to diabetic
Millions of people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic
retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness. EyeCare America is a
the U.S. government's national effort to reduce visual impairment due to
"I saw the doctor twice and will see him again in
a year. He's very nice . . . a real star in my book! I am happy that you recommended him to
me," said Jeanette Nini, an EyeCare America patient.
EyeCare America's Diabetes EyeCare Program (DEP)
promotes annual, dilated eye exams for seniors with diabetes. DEP raises awareness about
disease, including diabetic retinopathy, provides free diabetic eye
disease educational materials and facilitates access to eye care.
People eligible for a referral through the program
receive a comprehensive, medical eye exam and up to one year of treatment with no
out-of-pocket cost for any disease diagnosed during the initial exam.
Volunteer ophthalmologists accept Medicare and/or other insurance
reimbursement as payment in full.
EyeCare America's Diabetes EyeCare Program is
designed for people who:
For a Diabetes EyeCare Program referral, those
interested may call
1-800-272-EYES (3937) toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365
- Have diabetes
- Are US citizens or legal residents
- Are age 65 and older- Have not seen an
ophthalmologist in three or
- Do not have eye care insurance through an
or the VAF
EyeCare America's national public service program
provides access to eye
care for the medically underserved and for those at increased risk for
disease through volunteer ophthalmologists who donate their services.
than 90 percent of the care made available through EyeCare America is
at no out-of-pocket cost to the patients. The organization operates
for seniors, glaucoma, diabetes, and children, and is one of the largest
programs of its kind in the United States.
Since 1985, EyeCare America's
public service program has helped more than 650,000 people and treated
than 180,000 cases of eye disease. More information can be found at:
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