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Our T.A.K.E. on Glaucoma

Date: October 7th, 2011

A Declaration from the Glaucoma Working Group to Take Action to Know your Eyes

Today, more than 40 million Americans are age 65 or older.  By 2050, it is estimated that figure will rise to 88.5 million.  Our nation is aging rapidly, and this demographic shift likely means longer hospital stays, more doctor visits, and greater healthcare expenditures for more and more Americans.  If you're a Baby Boomer and looking ahead to your silver years, you already have plenty to think about: retirement, the economy, elderly parents, and young adult children.  It's hard to find time to focus on your health--especially if you feel healthy!

One condition that's often overlooked as we age is glaucoma--damage to the optic nerve that can lead to progressive, insidious, irreversible vision loss.  Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, affecting 60.5 million people today and set to reach 79.6 million by 2020.  Early detection and proper management can help prevent the serious outcomes of glaucoma.  Yet for some reason, the disease continues to be under-diagnosed and associated with poor treatment adherence.

Why is glaucoma often overlooked by patients, when eyesight is so precious?  We convened a panel of experts known as the Glaucoma Working Group to address this question.  The group examined underlying challenges surrounding glaucoma diagnosis and management, and proposed solutions to help educate, motivate, and empower two audiences: those who are at risk for glaucoma but are not diagnosed ("undiagnosed patients") and those who have been diagnosed but may be under-treated ("diagnosed patients").

This document contains an overview of the Glaucoma Working Group's discussions, which may be of interest to eye care professionals (ECPs), advocacy groups, and policymakers.  It also includes a powerful call to action that we hope will inspire you--the patient--to take an active role in managing glaucoma and help protect the gift of sight.

Scott R. Christensen
President & CEO
The Glaucoma Foundation

Daniel P. Perry
President & CEO
The Alliance for Aging Research

Related Topics: Vision Loss


The Silver Book: Vision Loss Volume II

Date: April 1st, 2012

More than 38 million Americans age 40 and older are blind, visually impaired, or have an age-related eye disease, and adult vision loss costs our economy more than $51 billion a year. With major advances in vision research bringing new prevention and treatments, it is critical that support for research and incentives for innovation remain a priority.

In order to highlight this important data and encourage conversations and policies that look to investments in innovation rather than short-term cost-cutting and health care rationing, the Alliance for Aging Research has teamed up with the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) during their Decade of Vision, to release Volume II of The Silver Book®:Vision Loss. Volume II brings updated data on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma—which along with cataract, are the eye diseases that disproportionately impact older Americans. This new volume also highlights the exciting changes and discoveries in vision research and treatment from the past 5 years.

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