Who is at risk for glaucoma?

Anyone can develop glaucoma! Those who are at highest risk and should have a dilated eye exam at least every one or two years include:

• African Americans over age 40
• Everyone over age 60
• People with a family history of glaucoma
• Individuals who have had a serious eye injury
• People with diabetes (Get a dilated eye exam every year)

Although a cure for glaucoma has not been found, early detection and treatment can usually preserve vision. Vision loss from glaucoma cannot be restored. It is important to become your own advocate. This can begin by signing up for a FREE POB glaucoma screening at one of the sites on the June glaucoma screening schedule.

View POB’s Calendar of Events for upcoming free glaucoma screenings.

Learn more about glaucoma.

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It has been said that technology has made the world smaller, but for people who are visually impaired, smart devices are opening up a whole new world.

The iPhone has become a great equalizer for people with vision loss. App accessibility is very empowering, for it opens doors for people with vision loss or other challenges to do things they would not otherwise be able to do.

Mark your calendar for POB’s Macular Degeneration Network meeting on Sunday, June 12, at Sibley Medical Building. Bring your devices, or bring someone who has one if you don’t, and join POB in this most enlightening and eye-opening event.

Learn more about this event.


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The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) continues to caution that too much exposure to UV light raises the risk of eye diseases including cataracts, growths on the eyelids and cancers. Growths on the eyes can appear in the late teens and early 20s, especially for those who have spent long hours under the midday sun. Diseases like cataracts and eye cancers can take many years to develop.

If you are concerned about keeping your eyes safe from the sun, check the Calendar of Events for programs on June 14 at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and June 16 at Friendship Heights Village Center, which will feature eye health professionals, resource information and a light lunch.

Learn more about this event at MedStar Washington Hospital Center or at Friendship Heights Village Center.

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The Remarkable Retina

You are invited to a world-class presentation at the community eye health event with celebrated ophthalmologist and retinal specialist, Michael M. Lai, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Lai, a physician for adult and pediatric patients at Retina Group of Washington, will explore the vital role of the retina (the light-sensitive layer of nerve tissue lining the inner eye) and why it is a most integral part of how we see – plus what to do if our retina is damaged!

Bring your questions and concerns for the open Q&A, when low vision specialist Adriana Wiseman, O.D., will join Dr. Lai.

Prior to the presentation, there will be free vision screenings beginning at 11 a.m. provided by POB.

This event is co-sponsored by The Beacon Newspapers, JCCGW, Montgomery County Health & Human Services, POB and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.

Learn more about this event.


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If you are newly diagnosed with low vision or have been on a circuitous search for guidance about living with your “new sight,” look no further.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is the professional medical association of ophthalmologists, and its membership includes more than 90 percent of practicing ophthalmologists in the United States as well as more than 7,000 members abroad. Its mission is “to ensure that the public can obtain the best possible eye care.”

To access low vision information, visit the AAO website, www.aao.org, and type “low vision” in the search bar.

Note: Some of the information may be outdated because of the fast pace of technology solutions. For best results, ask your eye doctor or his or her staff for help.

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Understanding Your New Sight

You’re invited to meet Lind Stevens, OTRL, SCLV, MS, a highly accomplished occupational therapist with a specialization in low vision rehabilitation, on Sunday, May 15, at the Macular Degeneration Network meeting at Sibley Medical Building.

This program is in response to the Town Hall meeting on March 19, when countless attendees expressed a resounding need for Medicare reimbursable services to cover low vision rehabilitation.

Lind and her colleagues hold the keys to many of the concerns expressed regarding the desire to stay engaged and live a full, happy and active life. You don’t need to have macular degeneration to attend this meeting – just a desire to learn about the sight we have rather than the sight we have lost.

Learn more about this event.


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The Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington® (POB) celebrated 80 years of providing sight-saving services in the DMV area on Saturday, March 19 at the Night of Vision® gala, which was held at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C. POB honored five community members during the evening, and raised vital funds and awareness for the organization’s local vision programs.

Andrew Adelson, M.D., a local ophthalmic surgeon specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, received the 2016 Professional Service Award for his outstanding work in the field of vision care. In addition, POB presented the 2016 Community Service Award to Janet and Hal Morrison for their more than 25 years working with POB and the low vision community, and presented the 2016 Appreciation Award to Amy L. Bess and Sadina Montani of Vedder Price for their pro bono legal assistance to the organization.

NBC News4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer served as master of ceremonies for the event and warmed up the crowd despite the chilly weather outside.

The event’s theme, “Beyond the See,” combined oceanic décor, a “Diving for Pearls” opportunity drawing with stunning pearl prizes, and a 200-piece silent auction featuring items such as a behind-the-scenes tour of the NBC Studios in Washington, DC with Doug Kammerer and a private, after-hours tour of the MoMA for 10. Also included in the event was a live auction featuring: tickets to Live! with Kelly and Michael; a DC date night package with a stay at the Four Seasons; and a build-your-own dream vacation package with 50,000 AAdvantage Miles from American Airlines and a $500 Marriott gift card.

Guests of the gala had the opportunity to make a $100 donation to have their name added to a tile, which will become part of a beautiful mosaic in POB’s newly built headquarters on Capitol Hill. POB is set to move into its new headquarters in the coming months. The building provides improved accessibility, room for growth, a Low Vision Learning Center, and a community lecture hall for future vision research updates, eye health seminars and low vision support group meetings.

POB (formerly D.C. Society for the Prevention of Blindness) was founded on March 10, 1936 by May B. Vories and Dr. William H. Wilmer, founder of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, as a seven-point program to bring eye health information to the Washington, D.C. community.

Today, POB is the largest local prevention of blindness agency in the United States, dedicated to the improvement and preservation of sight by providing services, education, advocacy and innovation. The organization serves the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties of Maryland, and Northern Virginia. POB screens more than 8,000 children annually for vision loss and strabismus, and thousands of adults for glaucoma. The organization provides thousands of low-income and homeless community members with eyeglasses each year, and helps those with low vision retain their independence through personalized rehabilitation programs at its Low Vision Learning Center. Its Aging Eye Network, Macular Degeneration Network and Stargardt’s Network provide public programs and support groups to the community.

For more information about POB or the Night of Vision gala, visit youreyes.org.

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The Smithsonian American Art Museum, in collaboration with POB, proudly introduces “America InSight,” a docent-led tour for visitors who are visually impaired.

Enjoy highlights of the art collection through rich verbal description and sensory discussions using printed copies of artwork and 3-D models visitors can touch and view up close. The tour is finished in time for participants to find a good seat and enjoy a live musical performance to complete the art experience.

To kick off this new program, learn from the experts of the American Art Museum by attending the Vision Support Lunch & Learn on April 21 at Friendship Heights Village Center at 12:30 p.m.

Learn more about this event.


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Eye Pain – the stabbing, throbbing, burning, gritty, sharp, aching, “something in my eye” feeling – can be very uncomfortable. Many people seek medical care when they have pain, and for good reason.

The meaning of the word pain is generally open for interpretation. Some people describe the pain as in their eyes, around their eyes, or behind their eyes. Learn about eye pain symptoms and what they could mean at the April 12 Low Vision Lunch and Learn at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Space is limited.

Learn more about this event.


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Kudos to Washington National Eye Center’s (WNEC) Ophthalmology Residency Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital / MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Under the direction and with the cooperation of WNEC Executive Director Penny Helfgott, and Michael Summerfield, M.D., director of MedStar’s Ophthalmology Residency program, first-year residents have become an integral part of the Low Vision Group that meets at the eye clinic monthly.

Thanks to WNEC for helping ensure that the practice of low vision support and referrals for vision rehabilitation become a part of ophthalmology’s commitment to continuum of care. For more information about this program, call 202-877-5329.

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