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For Immediate Release

First Ever Global Glaucoma Day to Raise Awareness
About the Silent Disease

OAK BROOK, Illinois, February 29, 2008? The first annual Global Glaucoma Day is to take place on Thursday, March 6, 2008. The day will serve to raise awareness around the world about the prevalence of glaucoma, often referenced as a silent eye disease. An estimated 4.5 million people throughout the world are blind due to glaucoma; however, an astounding 50 percent of these people in developed nations are not aware that they have the disease. Even more startling is that 90 percent of people with glaucoma in underdeveloped nations are not aware that they are living with the disease.

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Lions have been long-time supporters of glaucoma awareness and education. The Lions Eye Health Program (LEHP) addresses the prevalence of glaucoma in communities throughout developed nations. LEHP is a community-based education program that allows Lions clubs, other community organizations and individuals to promote healthy vision and raise awareness through the early detection and timely treatment of glaucoma.

LCIF forged a partnership with Allergan, Inc., a leader in eye care, to develop the All Eyes on the Family Program. The program addresses the pervasiveness of glaucoma within the United States through enhanced dialogue between those diagnosed with or at risk for glaucoma and their family members, caregivers and eye care professionals. All Eyes on the Family serves to increase awareness about the importance of the early detection of glaucoma. 

Glaucoma, the second most common cause of blindness in the world, is an eye disease that causes progressive damage to the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to deliver information to the brain. Glaucoma is a series of eye diseases that occur over a long period of time. When left untreated, which is very common among those who suffer from the disease, blindness is often the end result. Once acquired, glaucoma is typically irreversible. People who are more than 45 years of age, have a family history of glaucoma, have abnormally high pressure in the eyes, are of African descent, have diabetes, are nearsighted (have myopia), or have a history of regular, long-term steroid or cortisone use are more likely to incur the disease.
The need to raise awareness about glaucoma is greater now than ever. By the year 2020, it is predicted that over 11 million people in the world could suffer from the disease. The World Glaucoma Association (WGA) and the World Glaucoma Patient Association (WGPA) have joined together to establish one day where the world?s attention focuses on the serious need for greater education, services and support of the crippling eye disease. 

Through Lions advocacy, awareness about glaucoma continues to be at the center of attention throughout the globe, further continuing the fight for a healthier and happier tomorrow. Participate in the first ever Global Glaucoma Day and become one of the many Lions that contribute their support to the fight against Glaucoma.

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