Media Advisory

Friday, May 7, 2010

National Eye Institute Shares Tips to Promote Eye Health During Healthy Vision Month 2010

Who: Emily Y. Chew, M.D., deputy director of the National Eye Institute’s Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications, is available for LIVE interviews

When: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT

Why: An estimated 14 million Americans are visually impaired. This number is expected to grow significantly as our nation ages and age-related eye diseases become more common. Many blinding eye diseases have no warning signs or symptoms, so people may not notice anything is wrong with their vision. In fact, 11 million people in the United States have uncorrected visual impairment, such as nearsightedness, and could benefit from eyeglasses or contact lenses to improve their vision.

During Healthy Vision Month this May, the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is encouraging Americans to make vision health a priority and schedule an eye exam to help prevent unnecessary vision loss and blindness. Early detection and timely treatment can help save your sight and ensure that you’re seeing your best.

What: NEI’s Dr. Chew is available to discuss:

  • Why Healthy Vision Month was created
  • What everyone should know about their eye health
    • Why is it important to get a dilated eye exam?
    • What are the leading causes of blindness in the U.S.?
    • What are the most common vision problems?
    • What symptoms should I look for?
    • How are minorities affected by vision problems?
    • Why it is important to know if anyone in your family has an eye disease or condition?
    • Why do women experience many common vision problems more than men?
    • How can I find an eye care professional?
    • How can I find financial assistance for eye care?
  • How to eat right and stay healthy to protect your sight
    • Foods that promote eye health
    • Consequences of smoking on the eyes
  • How to protect your eyes
    • Wearing protective eyewear, including sunglasses

For more tips and information about eye health, visit

The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, leads the federal government’s research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments. For more information, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®