Never one to keep New Year’s resolutions very long, I stopped making them. Instead, I spend New Year’s Day making a calendar for the coming year. Seeing the year spread out before me and making general plans for each season gives me hope for the good things to come and the ambition to tackle projects. Why not have an Eye and Vision Health Calendar to help promote awareness and prevention of eye disease and vision conditions? The American Academy of Ophthalmology beat me to it, but I’ll share their calendar with you.
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It isn’t just one, but a group of diseases that can damage the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and blindness. There are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, but the NEI found that only 8 percent of the population knows that. Even worse, the NEI estimates that three million people over age 40 have glaucoma, but only half know they have it. Considering that glaucoma cases are expected to climb to more than four million by 2030 and more than six million by 2050, awareness becomes paramount. Glaucoma can be treated, but once vision loss occurs, it cannot be restored. Early detection through testing and a dilated eye exam, and treatment are key.
The NEI has many resources to help you promote glaucoma awareness. They have a Social Media Toolkit with articles, messages, info cards, infographics and videos for traditional and social media outlets. There’s also a Medicare Benefit Card you can distribute at community events that outlines Medicare eye examination benefits for people with diabetes and glaucoma risk. To better communicate glaucoma awareness, you can boost your own knowledge with resources and articles available on the website. Of course, 20/20 is here to help you understand the causes and solutions for low vision with our CE “An Introduction to Low Vision” at 2020mag.com/ce.
This year, think about a successful vision health calendar instead of unsuccessful resolutions, and have a happy and productive New Year, one month at a time!