FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sharon Boston email@example.com 410-328-8919
University of Maryland Medical Center
Jean Horrigan, 301-496-5248
National Eye Institute
A father and his young son explore eye anatomy.
If you or someone you know answers “yes” to any of these questions, low vision may be a problem.
People can do many things to make the most of their remaining vision. They can learn how by visiting THE EYE SITE: A Traveling Exhibit on Low Vision, which will come to the following venues in Maryland:
Low vision is a visual impairment not correctable by regular eyeglasses or contact lenses, medicine or surgery. It interferes with a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. It can result from a variety of diseases, disorders and injuries that affect the eye. Many people with low vision have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. Age-related macular degeneration accounts for almost 45 percent of all cases of low vision.
THE EYE SITE includes five kiosks with interactive multimedia touchscreen programs and panels that describe causes of low vision, warning signs, local resources and a self-assessment. One of the kiosks features displays of devices to help people with low vision. The interactive program, which is available in English and Spanish, also features a variety of videos and ELVEE (“L-V” for Low Vision), the program’s animated guide. ELVEE is also a costumed character who will make special appearances at each mall.
“For millions of Americans the inability to see well makes doing things difficult,” says Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Eye Institute (NEI). “They have trouble recognizing the faces of friends. Seeing the television and checking price tags become harder. Reading mail becomes an ordeal. Walking around the neighborhood presents a challenge. This exhibit has been developed to provide information and options for people with low vision, their families and friends.”
“What can people do about their low vision? What can they do to maintain their quality of life? How can they make the most of their remaining vision? THE EYE SITE can help answer these questions,” says Eve J. Higginbotham, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of ophthalmology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “The exhibit features low vision materials and lists low vision-related resources where people can turn for assistance.”
“THE EYE SITE has a simple message: People can do something about their vision loss. People with low vision, particularly seniors, tend to live with their condition and not seek help. Many older adults feel that low vision is a part of aging they have to accept. People should not resign themselves to the idea that nothing can be done about their low vision,” says Peter J. McDonnell, M.D., director of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. “Help exists. Vision rehabilitation services can teach people how to use their remaining vision more effectively. Visual and adaptive devices can help them lead independent lives.”
The exhibit was developed by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for its Low Vision Education Program. The exhibit will travel to shopping centers nationwide for the next several years.
Consumers can obtain a free booklet, What You Should Know About Low Vision or ¡Ojo con su visión!, by calling toll-free 1–877–LOW VISION (1–877–569–8474).
A local host committee is sponsoring the Maryland tour. The Committee is offering free educational activities and events at each mall and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
Members of the Baltimore Host Committee are:
Sponsors: University of Maryland Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; The Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins; National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research / Alliance for Eye and Vision Research; Spectera, A UnitedHealth Group Company; Maryland Optometric Association; Maryland Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons; Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services; Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped; DC/MD Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired; Maryland Society for Sight; The Richard E. Hoover Rehabilitation Services for Low Vision and Blindness, Greater Baltimore Medical Center; and University of Maryland Medical Center.
Supporters: American Council of the Blind of Maryland; Baltimore City Medical Society; Lions Clubs District 22A; Maryland School for the Blind; Maryland Science Center; and National Federation of the Blind.
For patient inquiries, call 1-800-492-5538 or click here to make an appointment.