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Winter Newsletter from ISPB & Prevent Blindness IL Feb 2022

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The Year of Children’s Vision

ISPB and Prevent Blindness IL are excited to declare 2022 as the Year of Children’s Vision! Both organizations were founded at the turn of the century and advocated around a public policy mission to save sight in newborns. While this mission has expanded over the following century to embrace all eye conditions across the lifespan, children’s vision remains a cornerstone of our work. Targeted efforts this year will focus on the role that healthy vision plays in learning, health disparities and access to care for underserved populations, and advocating for funding to support research and programs.

Turning the Lens on the Sneak Thief of Sight

In January Prevent Blindness IL and ISPB turned the lens on glaucoma, often referred to as “the sneak thief of sight,” offering a variety of free educational and awareness building resources through a comprehensive glaucoma page, social media channels, and The Glaucoma Community. Ongoing resources include an expert interview with Dr. Constance Okeke on our YouTube channel’s Focus on Eye Health Expert Series, downloadable fact sheets, sharable infographics, information on financial assistance, glaucoma support groups, a personalized glaucoma-oriented newsfeed, and more. In recognition of the Year of Children’s Vision, we will also be raising additional awareness about the often underdiscussed challenges of childhood glaucoma.

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month

Each February is recognized as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month to increase awareness and access to resources for individuals affected by low vision and vision impairment. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older, and more than 2.9 million Americans age 40 and older have low vision. Low vision is defined as a visual impairment that is not correctable through surgery, medicine, eye glasses or contact lenses.

Types of AMD

AMD affects central vision, where sharpest vision occurs, causing difficulty conducting daily tasks such as driving, or reading. The most common form of AMD is “dry” AMD, caused by the appearance of small yellow deposits called drusen, which form under the retina. Dry AMD usually progresses slowly. “Wet” AMD generally causes more rapid and more serious vision loss. In this form of the disease, tiny new blood vessels grow under and into the retina. These blood vessels are fragile and often break and leak, causing a loss of vision. 

Geographic Atrophy (GA) is the advanced form of dry AMD. Geographic atrophy results in areas of damaged tissue causing central blind spots.

New, Dedicated Resources on Geographic Atrophy (GA)

Prevent Blindness Illinois and ISPB have created new, dedicated resources on GA, including a dedicated webpage, fact sheet and a series of shareable social media graphics. Development of these new resources was sponsored by Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Learn more about GA and AMD also by watching last month’s Focus on Eye Health Expert Series discussion with Janet S. Sunness, M.D., Medical Director of Hoover Low Vision Rehabilitation Services at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

Resources to Support the Low Vision Community

Prevent Blindness and ISPB have a variety of educational resources dedicated to supporting the low vision community, including web pages, fact sheets, graphics, and interviews with medical experts. In addition to our comprehensive AMD Learning Center at Prevent Blindness, we have a no-cost Living Well with Low Vision online resource program.

GuideMe app

The GuideMe app is a free resource designed for those who have been diagnosed with AMD, their family members and caregivers. GuideMe works by asking a few questions about the user and the user’s AMD diagnosis. It then uses the answers to create a customized guide with helpful information, tips, resources and suggested steps to take to be proactive about protecting vision. The guide is compatible with a smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC. 

Two Awards from Prevent Blindness: Call for Nominations and Applications – Deadline is February 4 by noon ET

The Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health is among the highest honors Prevent Blindness bestows and is presented annually to an individual, group, or organization that has made significant contributions to the advancement of public health related to vision and eye health at the community, state, national and/or international level. 
The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 4, 2022 at noon ET.
Learn more

ophthalmology, primary health care, nursing, or other health professional student or resident in the United States who has the best overall application and essay addressing the 2022 Focus on Eye Health National Summit theme: Eye-conic Approaches to Eye Health. This esteemed award consists of formal acknowledgement and a commemorative plaque to be presented at the Focus on Eye Health National Summit virtually on July 13, 2022. The award accompanies an invitation to present on their essay and related work as a speaker of the Summit. 
The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 4, 2022 at noon ET.
Learn more

…Last, but not Least…Drum Roll, Please!
Friends of ISPB on the Castle Connolly Top Doctor List for 2022

ISPB and Prevent Blindness Illinois would like to congratulate the following Friends of ISPB who made the peer-nominated Castle Connolly Top Doctor list for 2022:

Vinay Aakalu
Andrew Berman
Charles S. Bouchard
R.V. Paul Chan
M. Soledad Cortina
Felipe De Alba
Ali Djalilian
Seenu M. Hariprasad
Sandeep Jain
Michael S. Korey
Jennifer Lim
David Morimoto
Mark I. Rosenblatt
Jonathan Rubenstein
Paras R. Shah
Thasarat S. Vajaranant
Nicholas J. Volpe

Copyright © 2017 Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness

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