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ORBIS and Alcon Call Attention to the Aging Eye
Date:10/9/2008

World Sight Day 2008 focuses on the need to protect the eyesight of older people

NEW YORK, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Of the 45 million people worldwide who are blind, 80 percent are over age 50, and three-quarters of them could have avoided their blindness if they had been properly diagnosed or treated.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/orbis/35257/

Alcon, the world's leader in eye care products and equipment, is partnering with nonprofit ORBIS International to remedy that situation through advocacy and skills-exchange programs essential to delivering quality eye care services. Today on World Sight Day, a global observance to stimulate greater public awareness of eye health issues, ORBIS and Alcon will continue their collaborative efforts to focus attention across the United States on the need to eliminate avoidable blindness in developing countries.

"While 71 percent of the world's elderly live in low-income countries, the risk of vision-impairing conditions increases significantly with increasing age -- whether here or abroad," said Hunter Cherwek, M.D., ORBIS International medical director. "Understanding the threat they face as they age and the steps they can take to protect their eyesight is key to preventing vision loss."

Serving the elderly population of low-income countries comes with specific challenges, such as the cost of eye care and related expenses, including transportation and support of caretakers, an ability to communicate with an older population about how to address treatable eye conditions, and a fear of eye surgery where high-tech equipment is used.

Whether as basic as an ophthalmoscope or as complex as a cataract phacoemulsification system, effective eye care depends heavily on reliable healthcare technology. This is especially important in developing countries struggling to fill long-term
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SOURCE ORBIS International
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