VCA and AARP Partner to Address Rising Number of Vision Problems in Older Americans

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New PSA campaign encourages regular eye exams to maintain healthy vision

Washington, D.C. (September 26, 2006) – The Vision Council of America (VCA) and AARP have partnered on a new series of public service advertisements (PSA) designed to encourage regular eye exams for Americans over 40. The PSA campaign will focus on educating Americans about vision problems and the important role that eye exams play in detecting and treating these serious conditions.

Currently, more than 11 million Americans have an uncorrected vision problem that could be resolved with proper treatment. Approximately three million Americans over age 40 have glaucoma, and it is estimated that half of those cases are undiagnosed. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss.

“This PSA campaign represents a significant step in our efforts to educate Americans about the importance of eye exams in protecting their vision,” said Ed Greene, VCA chief executive officer.

The PSAs, endorsed by the Ad Council (the preeminent authority on PSAs), stress that “an eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) can see things you can’t.” Many Americans are unaware that serious vision problems, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, may not present any symptoms before permanent vision loss occurs. Only an eyecare professional has the tools and experience necessary to accurately diagnose and treat all vision problems. The signs of other serious health conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, may be detected through an eye exam as well.

“[With this partnership], we can educate millions about the necessary steps needed to ensure a lifetime of healthy vision,” said Tom Nelson, AARP chief operating officer. “This allows Americans over 50 to sustain their independence and quality of life.”

VCA urges Americans to be aware of the following visual symptoms of eye disease:

  • · Trouble seeing objects at near or far distances
  • · Colors that seem faded
  • · Poor night vision
  • · Double or multiple vision
  • · Loss of peripheral (side) vision

“VCA encourages Americans of all ages to be proactive in maintaining their vision and to get a regular eye exam from an eye doctor,” added Greene.

The Vision Council of America is a not-for-profit trade organization dedicated to improving America’s vision health through its “Check Yearly. See Clearly.” campaign. For more information on vision health, visit

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