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Vision and Eye Health Resources

CDC Brief:  The State of Vision, Aging, and Public Health in America

Vision impairment is a serious public health concern among older adults, affecting more than 2.9 million people in the United States. This issue brief summarizes the prevalence of vision loss and eye diseases reported by people aged 65 or older, and it provides information about access to eye care, health status, and comorbid conditions among older adults. Data were collected from 19 states that used the Vision Impairment and Access to Eye Care Module (Vision Module) of CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) during 2006–2008. You can access the issue brief at: http://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/pdf/vision_brief.pdf.

CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Reasons for Not Seeking Eye Care Among Adults Aged ≥40 Years with Moderate-to-Severe Visual Impairment --- 21 States, 2006--2009

The CDC analyzed data for 21 states from 2006-2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys to learn why adults 40 and over with moderate-to-severe visual impairment did not seek eye care in the preceding year. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which found that eye-care cost or lack of insurance (39.8%) and perception of no need (34.6%) were the most common reasons given for not seeking eye care. To read more, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6019a3.htm?s_cid=mm6019a3_e%0D%0A.

Falls-Prevention Interventions for Persons Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired - Theory Paper

This article describes four main areas of falls-prevention intervention for older adults who are blind or visually impaired. When integrated into multifactorial programs, interventions pertaining to education, medical assessment, exercise and physical activity, and environmental assessment and modification have been shown to be effective in falls reduction.

Health Education and Communication

Healthy Vision Community Programs Database: a searchable collection of community-based eye health education programs from U.S. states and territories. This database is designed to address the following objectives:

-  Serve as a central location of community-based eye health education programs
-  Stimulate ideas for creative eye health education projects
-  Promote networking of groups and individuals concerned about eye health

Educational and Media-related Resources

Educational Materials/Assistance

www.eyecareamerica.org – a website by the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology providing free eye health educational materials and facilitating access to medical eye care.

Eye Diseases/Eye Health

www.geteyesmart.org – a website by the American Academy of Ophthalmology dedicated to educating people about eye diseases and conditions and the preservation of eye health.

Eye Health E-Cards

www.nei.nih.gov/ecards - Send e-cards in English or Spanish to help promote the importance of comprehensive dilated eye exams in keeping the eyes healthy and detecting eye disease early.

Low Vision Resources

American Optometric Association, information on low vision

National Eye Health Education Program

www.nei.nih.gov/nehep - The goal of NEHEP is to ensure that vision is a health priority by translating eye and vision research into public and professional education programs. NEHEP supports collaboration among eye health professionals, healthcare providers, patients, and the public and provides a wide variety of educational resources, research, and media tools that can be used for eye health education programs.

Outlook e-Newsletter - Sign up for the quarterly e-Newsletter from the National Eye Health Education Program to learn about eye health education and promotion activities happening around the country.

Programs and Interventions

Sight for Students Program - Sight for Students is a VSP charity that provides free vision exams and glasses to low-income, uninsured children.

Sample Eye Exam Referral Forms

Referral Form for Annual Dilated Retinal Exam

Eye exam referral form developed and used by network of clinics participating in the HRSA Collaborative

AOA Diabetes Report Form

Toolkits

Diabetes and Healthy Eyes Toolkit - The Diabetes and Healthy Eyes Toolkit provides community health workers and health educators with unique tools to inform people with diabetes and their loved ones about diabetic eye disease and maintaining healthy vision.

Healthy Eyes Toolkit - Find a variety of tools and resources here to educate others about the importance of eye exams in maintaining good eye health and keeping the eyes safe at work and at play.

See Well for a Lifetime: An Educational Series on Vision and Aging includes three educational modules that can be used as individual presentations or that can build on each other as a series to educate older adults about eye health. Each module includes a presentation, speaker’s guide and supplemental materials.