April is National Minority Health Month, and the American Academy of Opthalmology is reminding African Americans about the race related risk factors for eye disease.  African Americans face a greater risk for cataracts, are twice as likely to develop diabetic retinopathy as Caucasians, and 4 times more likely to go blind.  Because most of the more serious eye diseases are age-related, African American seniors are at a greater risk ask they age.  Due to these risk factors, all seniors with race-related risk factors are encouraged by opthalmologists to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam to find problems early, and hopefully prevent vision loss.  There are no early symptoms for most early eye diseases, and the only way to detect them before vision is permanently damaged, is through a dilated eye exam.

EyeCareAmerica is a public service program that seniors of all ethnicities may qualify for, and they offer eye exams and up to one year of care with no out-of-pocket expense to seniors that qualify.  If you, or someone you know experiences any of the following symptoms, do not hesitate to contact an opthalmologist immediately:

Double vision
Faded colors
Eye pain
Poor night vision
Sensitivity to light
Vision loss
Blurred vision
Blank spots or dark areas in your vision

Please visit www.EyeCareAmerica.org for more information on the program.