Glaucoma Screenings


Message from Judy Collins

I come from a family in which my father and my uncle were both blind, one of Glaucoma and one of a mysterious illness. And so my interest in preventing blindness and Glaucoma has always been very strong. Bud Grant invited me to be part of this foundation and I have been honored to be involved.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in America. It hits Black Americans and Hispanics far more often than it hits whites, but everyone is at some risk. Even children are not immune - as we learned in the stories about Ray Charles this past month.

Glaucoma is preventable, but only if the victim knows he or she has the disease in the first place. There are no symptoms of glaucoma. It does not hurt, it does not make your eyes water, it does not cause swelling or redness. It is an insidious, silent worker, stealing your sight from the periphery inward until, when you finally notice the darkness closing in, it is too late to stop it. Glaucoma is irreversible and incurable. But it can be stopped in its tracks by modern medicine if it is discovered early enough.

I’m so happy to join the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation to carry out free glaucoma screenings all across the US. As of July1, 2004, the Foundation has now screened more than 30,000 people for glaucoma - and about 1 in 6 has been told that they should see an ophthalmologist because the early signs of glaucoma have been detected.

To prevent blindness in my descendents as well all people who need help, I am so honored to be part of the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation.


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