VSP Vision Care Launches Eye on Age-Related Macular Degeneration Campaign

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RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) for people aged 50 and over in the U.S. has increased by 25 percent over the last decade. In response, VSP Vision Care is launching the VSP Eye on Age-Related Macular Degeneration campaign to increase consumer awareness about preventive care, support eye doctors with continuing education and provide free eyecare services to those in need.

As part of the VSP Eye on Wellness program, which launched a similar and successful Eye on Diabetes campaign, this program will also highlight the important role annual eye exams play in the early detection and treatment of serious eye conditions such as AMD. While AMD primarily affects older people, understanding its risk factors and being proactive in preventive care at a young age is critical to delaying its development. In addition to receiving an annual eye exam, preventive measures include eating nutrient-rich foods, incorporating a regular exercise routine, protecting eyes from harmful ultraviolet light and minimizing exposure to digital devices that emit blue light.

“The VSP Eye on Wellness campaigns support our mission to help people see better by combining awareness, education and care,” said Jim McGrann, president of VSP Vision Care. “Annual comprehensive eye exams by an eyecare professional play a critical role in having the opportunity to slow, or even in some cases stop, the progression of AMD through early diagnosis and treatment.”

Free health services, including comprehensive eye exams and health risk assessments for AMD using ZeaVision equipment, will be provided to low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents across the U.S. Because Missouri is among the states with the highest rates of AMD, the campaign begins tomorrow, Aug. 24, in St. Louis, and it will continue with two additional stops in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Fla.

Additional campaign stops throughout the country are scheduled for 2014. Local VSP network doctors will volunteer their time through the VSP Mobile Eyes program to provide exam services onboard a VSP Mobile Eye Clinic outfitted with state-of-the-art exam rooms, dispensaries and a finishing lab.

The campaign will also include a free continuing education seminar approved by the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) offered for all licensed optometrists and their staff. The course will provide doctors with the most recent information and tools to continue providing quality care for their patients who have, or are at risk for, AMD.