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News Release

FOR RELEASE
January 9, 2014

For Glaucoma Awareness Month
New Resources Available on
Importance of Glaucoma Screening

BrightFocus Foundation Targets At-Risk Populations
with Free English and Spanish Infographics, Publications

Clarksburg, MD—An estimated half of the three million Americans living with glaucoma may be unaware they have this sight-stealing disease. Once vision is lost to glaucoma, it can never be regained.  Vision loss can be prevented, however, if glaucoma is detected and treated early.

BrightFocus Foundation, in recognition of January’s Glaucoma Awareness Month, is offering free resources in English and Spanish to encourage comprehensive, dilated-pupil eye exams every one to two years for those at higher risk for this disease. That includes individuals with a family history of glaucoma, persons over the age of 60—particularly Hispanics—and African Americans over age 40.

“The terrible effects of this disease can be reduced through early detection,” said BrightFocus President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller. “We want to get the word out to at-risk groups: eye exams can literally save your sight.”

Free BrightFocus resources include:

    Glaucoma visual SnapShot
  • New Visual SnapShots, which graphically illustrate information on glaucoma prevalence, detection, and treatment.  Available in English and Spanish.
  • Educational videos and audio files, in English and Spanish, with information from doctors and patients.

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that eventually lead to optic nerve damage, which can result in vision loss and, if not detected, complete blindness.  A growing segment of the Baby Boom generation is now over age 60 and thus more at risk for the disease. In the U.S., glaucoma is three to four times more common among African Americans and Hispanic populations than among Caucasians. In middle age, African Americans are 15 times more likely than non-Hispanic Caucasians to experience blindness from the disease.

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ABOUT BRIGHTFOCUS FOUNDATION
BrightFocus Foundation (www.brightfocus.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing brain and eye health, by funding research worldwide on glaucoma, macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease.  BrightFocus also provides the public with information about these diseases, including risk factors, current treatments, and coping strategies.

CONTACT:

Michael Buckley, Vice President of Public Affairs
BrightFocus Foundation
Phone: (301) 556-9370; Email: mbuckley@brightfocus.org

Alice L. Kirkman, Marketing and Communications Manager
BrightFocus Foundation
Phone: (301) 556-9349; Email: akirkman@brightfocus.org

Last Review: 01/09/14


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