It’s a fact: women are at higher risk than men are for vision impairments such as low vision and blindness, yet they are less likely to seek out and receive treatment.
That’s why April has been declared Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month.
This Month, Educate – and Help Save the Sight of – Your Female Patients
According to a recent report from The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health, the gender imbalance can be attributed to demographic factors, such as women living longer than men – and also social factors, such as women having reduced access to proper eye care.
According to the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR), the following diseases of the eye occur more frequently in women:
• Refractive Error – 26 percent more women than men over the age of 12 have uncorrected visual impairment due to refracted error
• Dry Eye – Two times more women than men over the age of 50 have dry eye disease
• Age-related Macular Degeneration – 65 percent of individuals in the United States with Age-related Macular Degeneration are women
• Cataracts – 61 percent of individuals in the United States with cataract are women
• Glaucoma – 67 percent of individuals in the United States with glaucoma are women
• Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) – TED is 5-6 times more common in women than men
Empower Women’s Eye Health
This month, and every month of the year, empower your female patients with knowledge, skills, and confidence to be advocates for their own vision and eye health.
“Permanent vision loss from many eye diseases and conditions can be lessened if problems are diagnosed and treated early. That’s why it’s so important for women to make their own eye health a priority to help avoid preventable vision issues in the near and distant future.,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.” For more information on women’s eye health, including fact sheets on eye diseases and eye protection, please visit PreventBlindness.org. Prevent Blindness offers a free listing of financial assistance services in English and Spanish at: preventblindness.org/visioncare-financial-assistance-information/.
Share This Info with Your Female (and Male!) Patients
Here is a list of contact information for organizations and services that provide financial assistance for vital vision care:
The American Academy of Ophthalmology EyeCare America® Program
P.O. Box 429098
San Francisco, CA 94142-9098
Phone: (877) 887-6327
EyeCare America provides eye care to US citizens and legal residents, often at no out-of-pocket cost to those who qualify.
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 510
Rockville, Maryland 20852
Phone: (301) 231-5944
Many optometry schools offer low to no-cost care to people willing to be treated by supervised students. They also provide free care to people who join research studies.
The HealthWell Foundation
P.O. Box 489
Buckeystown, MD 21717
Phone: (800) 675-8416
The HealthWell Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible individuals to cover co-insurance, co-payments, healthcare premiums and deductibles for certain treatments.
6900 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 200
Plano, TX 75024
Toll-free Patient Info: (877) 968-7233
Main: (972) 608-7141
Good Days provides financial support by covering prohibitively costly co-pays for those with life-altering eye conditions, allowing them to receive treatment without destroying their finances.
243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., Floor 1
St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone: (888) 396-EYES (3937)
InfantSEE optometrists provide no-cost comprehensive eye and vision assessment for infants within the first year of life – regardless of a family’s income or insurance coverage.
Post Office Box 219
Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone: (978) 865-4115
NeedyMeds offers important information directly from eye medicine manufacturers regarding special programs to assist people who can’t afford to buy the necessary eye disease drugs they need.
Mission Cataract USA
6716 N. Cedar Avenue
Fresno, California 93710
Phone: (800) 343-7265
Coordinated by the Volunteer Eye Surgeon’s Association, this program provides free cataract surgery to people of all ages who have no Medicare, Medicaid, third party insurance, or any other means to pay for needed cataract surgery.
New Eyes for the Needy
549 Millburn Avenue
Post Office Box 332
Short Hills, NJ 07078
Phone: (973) 376-4903
New Eyes provides a basic pair of single or lined bifocal lenses. A New Eyes voucher is for individuals who have no other resources with which to obtain a basic pair of eyeglasses. Applicants must have an eye exam including their pupillary distance (PD) measurement before applying.
OneSight’s Eyeglass Referral Program
Phone: (888) 935-4589
Through OneSight’s Eyeglass Referral Program, eligible patients can receive glasses free of charge.