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EyeCare America Reminds Seniors: "Don't Lose Sight of Your Independence"
Date:6/1/2009

EyeCare America Offers No Cost Medical Eye Care to Qualified Seniors

San Francisco, CA (Vocus) June 1, 2009 -- 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 call EyeCare America's Seniors EyeCare Program to see if they qualify for an eye exam and care, often at no-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."

EyeCare America's 3-month promotional campaign runs June 1 through August 31. 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 if you, a loved one or a friend, 65 and older, is eligible to receive a referral for an eye exam and care, call 1-800-222-EYES (3937), available 24 hours, 7 days a week, year round.

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. Individuals without insurance are seen at no charge.

EyeCare America's Seniors EyeCare Program 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

For a Seniors EyeCare Program referral, those interested may call the toll-free help line 1.800.222.EYES (3937). The Seniors EyeCare Program help line operates all day, every day, year-round.

The Seniors EyeCare Program is co-sponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.

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. EyeCare America includes programs for glaucoma, diabetes, and AMD as well as seniors and children, and is the largest program of its kind in American medicine. 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: www.eyecareamerica.org

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Neves, Communications Director - 415.561.8518, aneves@aao.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.

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/EyeCare_America/Free_Eye_Care/prweb2469864.htm.


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