2012-05-25 / Community

Turner Hosts Glaucoma Screening Event


Congressman Bob Turner with members of the Eliot Avenue Walgreens staff, Vip Patel of the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Foundation, and a constituent who stopped in to take advantage of a free glaucoma screening event on Monday, May 21, in Middle Village. Approximately 75 people stopped by the Turner sponsored event which he held as part of Healthy Vision Month. Congressman Bob Turner with members of the Eliot Avenue Walgreens staff, Vip Patel of the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Foundation, and a constituent who stopped in to take advantage of a free glaucoma screening event on Monday, May 21, in Middle Village. Approximately 75 people stopped by the Turner sponsored event which he held as part of Healthy Vision Month. Congressman Bob Turner is sponsoring an event to provide free glaucoma tests to area residents on Monday, May 21 as part of Healthy Vision Month (HVM).

“The key to preventing blindness from glaucoma is early detection,” Turner said. “Ensuring that everyone, especially those in high-risk demographics such as seniors over the age of 60, receive screenings by eye care professionals, and, if need be, are referred to the appropriate care providers for follow up is essential. Initiatives such as this, coupled with efforts to expand access to healthcare and make prescription drugs more affordable, will help make the ‘golden years’ truly golden for America’s seniors.”

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), “Healthy Vision Month is designed to elevate vision as a health priority for the Nation. Millions of people living in the United States have undetected vision problems, eye diseases, and conditions.”

As part of the effort to raise awareness, Turner has arranged for the free screenings which will take place in the Walgreens parking lot down the block from his Queens District Office at 80-11 Eliot Avenue, Middle Village, NY 11379. The screenings will take place from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and do not require an appointment.

Glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness, is an eye disorder that damages the optic nerve that carries messages from the eye to the brain. It has no noticeable symptoms or early warning signs and cannot be cured. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Glaucoma affects roughly three million Americans, many of whom are not aware that they have the disease until it begins to gradually steal their sight. Each year 5,500 people become blind as a result of this disease. Glaucoma cannot be prevented; however, early detection and treatment can save one’s sight. Anyone can develop the disease, but the following groups are at higher risk: senior citizens (over the age of 60), anyone with a family history of glaucoma, people with diabetes and/or high blood pressure, African- Americans (over the age of 40) and individuals of Hispanic origin. This is why it is imperative that all Americans, particularly those in high-risk groups, such as seniors, be screened for glaucoma on a regular basis. This can range from a minimum of once annually or more frequently if recommended by your doctor.

“I urge everyone, especially seniors and those in high-risk groups, to come out and take advantage of this opportunity for a free screening,” Turner said.

Healthy Vision Month was established by the National Eye Institute (NEI) in May 2003. NEI is a National Institute of Health agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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