March is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

During March’s age-related macular degeneration awareness month EyeCare America asks seniors, “Do you see what I see?”  EyeCare America, a national non-profit organization raises awareness about age-related macular degeneration and provides free eye exams to seniors.

For seniors who suffer with an eye disease known as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) the answer is always, “No.”  Picture this…. a large black hole in the center of your sight that robs you from seeing complete images and eats away at your vision from the inside out. That is what happens for the 10 million Americans who suffer from AMD.  AMD is a devastating eye disease and the leading cause of vision loss in people 65 years or older in the United States. 

 In honor of March’s AMD Awareness Month, EyeCare America is launching an awareness campaign for AMD called “Do You See What I See?” The campaign aims to raise awareness about AMD, its risk factors (age, race, family history) and its treatment options. For seniors who have not been diagnosed with AMD, the national organization would like to connect those people with a free eye exam through its AMD EyeCare Program.

People can call the toll-free helpline at 1-866-324-EYES (3937) anytime, for themselves and/or family members and friends to see if they qualify for a free eye exam.

This year-round program promotes annual eye exams for people 65 and older, raises awareness of AMD, provides the latest information about treatment options and low vision services, offers free AMD educational materials, and facilitates access to eye care. The eye exams will be provided by more than 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists across the US.

“There is no cure for AMD, but early detection and treatment may lessen severe vision loss and slow the progression of the disease,” said William Tasman, MD, chair of EyeCare America’s AMD EyeCare Program.

The AMD EyeCare Program is designed for people at increased risk for AMD, but who have NOT been diagnosed and who:

– Are age 65 and older;
– Are US citizens or legal residents;
– Have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years;
– Do not belong to an HMO or the VA;

People can call the toll-free helpline at 1-866-324-EYES (3937) anytime, for themselves and/or family members and friends to see if they qualify for a free eye exam and care from one of EyeCare America’s 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists nationwide and to request free AMD educational materials.

Callers who have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years and who are also at increased risk (age, race, family history) may be eligible to receive a comprehensive medical eye exam and, in most cases, up to one year of care at no out-of-pocket cost for any disease diagnosed during the initial exam.

Eyeglasses, medicines, hospital services and fees of other medical professionals are not included.

(Source: EyeCare America)

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