Monday, February 05, 2007

Free Eye Care For Seniors

LABELLE, FL. -- By age 65, one in three Americans has some form of vision-impairing eye disease. Most do not know it because there are often no warning symptoms or they assume that poor sight is a natural part of growing older. By detecting and treating eye disease early through annual, dilated eye exams, seniors can preserve their sight. 

The Seniors EyeCare Program (SEP) helps to ensure that all eligible seniors have access to medical eye care and promotes annual, dilated eye exams. SEP raises awareness about age-related eye disease, including cataracts, provides free eye care educational materials and facilitates access to eye care. 

People eligible for a referral through the program receive a comprehensive, medical eye exam and up to one year of care­at no out-of-pocket cost­for any disease diagnosed during the initial exam. Volunteer ophthalmologists accept Medicare and/or other insurance reimbursement as payment in full.

Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss among adults 55 and older. In fact, more than half the people over age 65 have some degree of cataract development. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people 50 years of age and over. About 1.7 million Americans over age 65 have been diagnosed with AMD. About one to two percent have severe vision loss.

The Seniors EyeCare Program is designed for people who:
  • Are US citizens or legal residents
  • Are age 65 and older
  • Have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years
  • Do not belong to an HMO or the VA

To determine if you, a family member or friend qualify for a SEP referral call 800.222.EYES (3937) toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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