(Washington, DC) Today, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research’s (AEVR) new Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Initiative announced a World Glaucoma Week 2021 Congressional Briefing entitled Glaucoma: Clinical Practice and Research to Optimize Patient Outcomes to be held virtually on March 11 from 12 Noon – 1:15 pm. RSVP to Dina Beaumont at [email protected] or 202-407-8325 to attend or link to: https://www.arvo.org/advocacy/NAEVR-virtual-events/
Featured speakers include clinician scientist-educators Mona Kaleem, MD and Elyse Joelle McGlumphy MD—both from the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine—who will speak about Glaucoma and their respective clinical experiences in treating patients, as well as their research efforts to better understand and optimize the patient experience. Glaucoma Research Foundation’s patient representative Amanda Eddy, who was born with glaucoma, will speak about quality-of-life challenges presented by the disease.
AEVR’s co-sponsors include Research to Prevent Blindness, the American Glaucoma Society, the Optometric Glaucoma Society, Glaucoma Research Foundation, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), which is providing streaming support. Link to the Briefing flyer at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn720/eyeresearch/pdf/AEVRWorldGlaucomaWeekBriefing2021Invite.pdf
Glaucoma, the second leading cause of preventable vision loss in the United States, is a neurological disease affecting the optic nerve and causing vision loss—and ultimately blindness. It affects more than 2.7 million Americans over age 40, with that number estimated to more than double by year 2050. It includes both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases, as often individuals are unaware that they have the disease until vision is lost. Certain characteristics such as age, ethnicity, high intraocular pressure (IOP), and optic nerve structure are associated with disease development. Groups at highest risk include African Americans over age 40, individuals over age 60, and those with a family history of the disease. Glaucoma is a driving factor in the annual cost of vision impairment projected to reach $717 billion by year 2050.
The National Eye Institute (NEI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a long history of funding glaucoma research, ranging from determining the genetic basis of the disease to development of effective drug and device therapies to treat the disease.
The first World Glaucoma Day was held on March 6, 2008, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 981, which recognized the event and supported the NEI’s efforts to research the causes of and treatments for glaucoma. That day has expanded into a full week of educational events held worldwide.
The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation, educates about the value of federally funded vision research through its sustained effort Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Initiative.