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September 9, 2020
Glaucoma Research Foundation has joined a national coalition of 10 leading organizations that announced today the launch of "scEYEnce" -- a new media campaign that shines a spotlight on the powerful benefits of vision research.
The multi-faceted campaign will raise needed awareness about the critical role sight plays in our health and well-being. The campaign will use traditional and social media outreach to highlight cutting edge research and the scientists conducting it, graphics that illustrate the impact of vision loss, and a resource-rich website to make it easy to find the stories and sources needed to effectively communicate about vision research.
Approximately 12 million adults currently have significant vision loss or difficulty seeing that can’t be corrected by contacts or glasses, including 1 million who are legally blind. Vision disability ranks among the top 10 disabilities among people 18 and older, and one national survey noted that people fear vision loss as much or more than losing hearing, memory, speech or a limb.
“Vision research is confronting these challenges head on,” said Brian F. Hofland, PhD, President of Research to Prevent Blindness, a scEYEnce coalition member. “Scientists are producing new insights about eye disease, developing innovations to restore sight, and driving clinical breakthroughs that are helping all of us see the future more clearly.”
Groundbreaking science has already produced a stem cell-based therapy in clinical testing for age- related macular degeneration, synthetic lenses that improve the sight of people with cataracts, medications that reduce the pressure within the eye to treat glaucoma, and novel therapies on the horizon for relieving dry eye.
Eye and vision research also provides valuable insights about our overall health, particularly the brain and its vulnerability to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Vision research will become increasingly important in the future. “As more Americans live longer,” said Jason Menzo, Chief Operating Officer at Foundation Fighting Blindness, a scEYEnce coalition member, “more of us are struggling with age-related vision decline.” By 2050, the number of people in the U.S. with legal blindness is expected to double to roughly 2 million and those with other visual impairment to double to nearly 7 million. Notably, age is associated with higher rates of common eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinopathy.
Innovations generated by eye and vision science are transforming the sight of millions of Americans and reducing the $170 billion annual impact of major vision problems. “These innovations are allowing millions of blind or visually impaired people to continue to work, contribute to their communities, and live better, fuller lives,” said Iris M. Rush, CAE, Executive Director at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, a scEYEnce coalition member. “Vision research is an investment in a better future for people of all ages.”
The scEYEnce campaign seeks to educate the public, the media, policymakers, and other key stakeholders about the vital importance of vision research. The campaign is supported by a working group comprised of 10 organizations dedicated to advancing vision science:
Learn more at www.sceyence.org
Last reviewed on September 09, 2020