Monday, June 29, 2009

Congress Set to Take up FY 2010 Appropriations after 4th of July Recess

Prevent Blindness America is working hard to secure FY 2010 appropriations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vision Health Initiative, the National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute. An estimated 80 million Americans have a potentially blinding eye disease, 3 million have low vision, 1.1 million are legally blind, and 200,000 are more severely visually impaired. While vision impairment and blindness are among the most feared disabilities, effective public health initiatives can dramatically decrease these numbers.

Congress is in recess this week for the 4th of July holiday but is set to take up appropriations bills when they return next week. You can be a Voice for Vision. Click here:
to advocate for funding for sight-saving programs.

Half of all blindness can be prevented through education, early detection and treatment. Funding for vision and eye health research is critical to public health.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The FDA is Taking Steps to Improve Contact Lens Safety

The FDA issued a press release and consumer update this week detailing the steps the agency is taking to improve contact lens safety through consumer awareness activities. The new consumer update provides safety information to consumers, an explanation of the rub and rinse method, and a list of Do's and Don'ts for contact lens wearers.

Contact lens wearers should follow their eye doctor's instructions about care and cleaning of their lenses. Contact lens wearers who do not follow proper cleaning and storage instructions for their lenses may increase their risk of serious eye infections that can lead to blindness. For more information about proper care for your contact lenses or the risks associated with wearing contact lenses, go to

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bill to Give FDA Authority to Regulate Tobacco Products Passes U.S. Senate

Senate Bill 982, a bill to protect the public health by providing the Food and Drug Administration with certain authority to regulate tobacco products, passed the Senate today by a vote of 79-17.

The U.S. House passed similar legislation, House Resolution 1256, in April.

Tobacco use has been linked to a number of health problems and is the single greatest cause of disease and premature death in the in the United States today. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, including the eye.

Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is the second leading cause of legal blindness in the United States, and recent studies link AMD to smoking. Over 2 million Americans have AMD, contributing to the $51.4 billion annual cost of adult vision problems to the U.S. AMD is a condition that primarily affects the part of the retina responsible for sharp central vision. An individual with AMD may have blurry or wavy central vision or a blind spot in their central vision.

For more information on Age-related Macular Degeneration, go to

To view a copy of Prevent Blindness America's "Vision Problems in the U.S." report or "The Economic Impact of Vision Problems" report, go to:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Prevent Blindness America Joins Efforts to Guarantee Health Care and Coverage for All Americans

Prevent Blindness America joined the National Health Council and 47 other patient advocacy organizations in releasing a statement to President Obama and the 111th Congress on June 2, 2009 to urge the Administration and Congress to enact solutions to guarantee effective and affordable health and long-term care coverage for all Americans ( Specifically, Prevent Blindness America and the other patient advocacy organizations request that health reform legislation:
  • Cover Everyone;
  • Curb Costs Responsibly;
  • Abolish Exclusions for Pre-existing Conditions;
  • Eliminate Lifetime Caps; and
  • Ensure Long-term and End-of-Life Care.
The National Health Council's press release on this statement can be found here:

Since 1908, Prevent Blindness America has been the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization with the sole mission of preventing blindness and preserving sight.