As you are well-aware the U.S. economy is struggling to come back after experiencing a major downturn. Often when faced with tough economic times, our senior communities on fixed incomes are hurt the most when health care falls by the wayside. I want to make sure their eye health is not neglected.
This holiday season, I urge readers to find out if their loved ones qualify for a free eye exam from a national program, EyeCare America. This year-round program is designed for seniors, 65 and older, who haven't seen an ophthalmologist (a medical eye doctor) in three or more years. Eligible patients are matched with a nearby volunteer ophthalmogist. Seniors receive a comprehensive medical eye examination and up to one year of care for any disease diagnosed during the initial visit at no out-of-pocket cost.
Those interested can go to the EyeCare America website (www.eyecareamerica.org) to see if someone they know may qualify for medical eye care. Connecting friends and family members with an eye exam may be the best gift of all ... the gift of sight.
As one of the 275 Eye America volunteer ophthalmologists in Michigan, I experience firsthand how providing a simple, medical eye exam can preserve sight. As program volunteers, we agree to waive Medicare or other insurance co-payments and unmet deductibles, resulting in no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Seniors without insurance receive care at no charge. In Michigan, 16,260 have been helped through EyeCare America.
EyeCare America is a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and co-sponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. with additional support provided by Alcon.
I urge all readers to take advantage of this program and give the gift of sight to a special senior in their life this holiday season.
Robert M. Currier, D.O.