March 2021
Dear NEHEP Partners, 

Low vision affects millions of Americans, including many older adults. Standard treatments like eyeglasses and medicines can’t fix it completely — but there are services and devices that can help people with low vision live full, active lives. 

That’s why we’re using this edition of the Eye Health Connection newsletter to highlight events and resources about low vision and related eye diseases, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 

We’re also gearing up to celebrate Healthy Vision Month in May. This year’s theme is health equity — so we look forward to sharing tools and resources to help you promote healthy vision for all. If your organization is interested in collaborating with NEI during Healthy Vision Month, please reach out to me at maria.zacharias@nih.gov!

Best,
Maria Zacharias
Director of Communications
National Eye Institute
Help people talk with their doctor about AMD
NEI and the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) developed a new, user-tested guide for people with AMD. Use the guide to help people prepare for a visit with their doctor, ask need-to-know questions, and keep track of their symptoms.
Connect people with free low vision resources from Prevent Blindness
Prevent Blindness aims to empower people with low vision through their Living Well with Low Vision website. They offer a variety of tools — including a guide to using nonvisual senses in daily activities, a visual skills workbook for people with AMD, and directories of services and products that can help people maintain their independence and quality of life.
Reach people at risk for vision loss through NEI’s print resources
In the United States, 4 in 10 adults are at high risk for vision loss. And for some hard-to-reach populations, print materials are key to promoting eye health behaviors. NEI has free brochures and booklets in English and Spanish that encourage people at risk to make eye exams a priority — including the Don’t Lose Sight of series and Watch out for your vision! booklets. To order print materials, reach out to kcollins@nei.nih.gov.
Help people get the most out of eye doctor visits with Hadley’s new workshop
Visiting the eye doctor can be stressful — especially after getting a new diagnosis. Help your patients get the most out of their visits with Hadley’s new Visiting Your Eye Doctor workshop. And while you’re at it, help people learn about key terms for vision loss with the other workshop in their You, Your Vision, and Your Doctor series.
Calendar of Events
Tune in to ARVO’s 2021 annual meeting
Join the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) for their virtual annual meeting from May 1 to May 7. Take this opportunity to connect with other vision researchers and learn about the latest advances in vision science. And don’t miss NEI & ARVO Discuss Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion — led by NEI Director Michael Chiang, M.D., and Justine Smith, Ph.D., professor of eye and vision health at Flinders University in Australia — on Tuesday, May 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. EDT.
Other Events and Resources
May 2021: NEI is recognizing Healthy Vision Month and centering this year’s campaign around health equity
May 5, 2021, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EDT: The Vision Council is hosting their All-Member Virtual Meeting
Ongoing: The American Foundation for the Blind’s 2021 Centennial Celebrations highlight conversations with people who are blind or visually impaired
Resource: The American Diabetes Association’s Focus on Diabetes Champions series features stories about people overcoming challenges from diabetic eye disease
Resource: The American Society of Retina Specialists’ videos on AMD and diabetic retinopathy give an overview of risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment
Resource: Hadley’s new podcast episodes feature conversations with eye disease experts, including an episode about glaucoma with Jullia Rosdahl, M.D., Ph.D. and an episode about retinal conditions with Tim Murray, M.D.
Resource: UC Irvine Health offers free resources for AMD patients through their AMD resources page — and they can provide free educational brochures and Amsler grids if you call or email
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