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Share Your Family History of Glaucoma

EyeCare America Asks Families to Share their History of Glaucoma


National Campaign Works to Prevent Blindness in Communities at High Risk for the Disease by Providing Free Glaucoma Eye Exams and Free Educational Videos


October 5, 2009 – San Francisco, CA –Did you know that if any member of your immediate family has glaucoma you are at a much higher risk of developing the disease?  In fact, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, with a family history of glaucoma your risk increases from 4 to 9 times.


In the effort to help fight against blindness caused by glaucoma, EyeCare America asks all families to follow these three simple steps:


  1. ASK: “Does anyone in our family have glaucoma?”
  2. CALL: 1-800-391-EYES (3937)to see if you qualify for a FREE exam through EyeCare America’s Glaucoma EyeCare Program.
  3. TELL: Your family if you have glaucoma. They are at risk and will also need eye exams.

Additionally, EyeCare America is providing FREE tapes and videos: a VHS tape called “Glaucoma and You,” featuring baseball legend Willie Mays and actress Diahann Carroll, and a bilingual DVD “Guide for Latinos” about glaucoma” featuring boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya. The 30-minute educational videos have been developed to increase glaucoma awareness, diagnosis and treatment among African-Americans and Latinos.  Those interested in receiving either video may call 1-877-887-6327. The tapes will be available while supplies last.


“Glaucoma often has no warning signs and the vision loss caused by the disease is irreversible,” said M. Roy Wilson, MD. “By educating Americans about the importance of a yearly eye exam, we hope to prevent vision loss through early detection and treatment of glaucoma.”


EyeCare America’s Glaucoma EyeCare Program promotes early detection and treatment of glaucoma. It also raises awareness of glaucoma risk factors, provides free glaucoma educational materials and facilitates access to a glaucoma eye examination.  To find out if you are eligible for a free glaucoma eye exam, call the toll-free help line at 1-800-391-EYES (3937). The EyeCare America help line operates all day, every day, year-round.

The Glaucoma EyeCare Program is designed for people who:

  • Are U.S. citizens or legal residents
  • Have not had an eye exam in 12 months or more
  • Are at increased risk for glaucoma (as determined by risk factors that include family history, race, and age)

*Those eligible for a referral through the glaucoma program receive a glaucoma eye exam and the initiation of treatment, if deemed necessary.  Uninsured patients will receive the above care at no charge. Patients with insurance will be billed and are responsible for any co-payments and/or the cost of the eye examination.


The Glaucoma EyeCare Program is co-sponsored by Pfizer Ophthalmics. 


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