NEW YORK – Bausch + Lomb has launched a new public service announcement and docu-series to raise awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in people ages 50 and older.
Unveiled at a media event Tuesday in New York City, the Bausch + Lomb docu-series shares the stories of people living with AMD and encourages others to learn about the risk factors for the condition and how to help reduce the risk of its progression.
For the campaign, dubbed #WhyEyeFight, Bausch + Lomb is working with Prevent Blindness, a volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight.
This month, Bausch + Lomb is asking people to show their support of people with AMD on social media. Through Feb. 28, every “share” or “like” of a Bausch + Lomb Facebook post promoting AMD Awareness Month will result in a $1 donation to the organization Prevent Blindness, Lester Hosten, director of medical affairs at Bausch + Lomb Healthcare, said at the event.
As the population continues to age, the number of AMD cases is expected to rise, noted Hosten. AMD is characterized by loss of central vision in one or both eyes. It’s estimated that one in five seniors will be diagnosed with this disease.
Dr. Michael Cooney, a New York-based retinal specialist, also spoke at the event about the risks of developing AMD and treatment options. He pointed out that, in its early stages, AMD may not present any symptoms, so patients may not think to consult with an eye care professional — possibly enabling the condition to advance. Left untreated, AMD can lead to severe vision loss or blindness, Cooney noted.
Though there is no cure for AMD, Bausch + Lomb said, patients with AMD can take steps to help to reduce the risk of progression, such as maintaining a healthy diet and taking PreserVision AREDS 2 Formula eye vitamins, which contain the nutrient formula recommended by the National Eye Institute for people with moderate to advanced AMD. Patients are urged consult with an eye doctor to find out if an AREDS 2 formula vitamin is right for them.
“We are inspired by the spirit of the more than 9 million Americans who suffer from moderate to advanced stages of this progressive eye disease and believe their stories have the power to motivate others to take action to help preserve their vision,” Joe Gordon, president of Bausch + Lomb Consumer Healthcare, said in a statement about the #WhyEyeFight campaign.
The public can help raise awareness by adding the #WhyEyeFight custom frame to their Facebook profile picture or by sharing social posts with the hashtag #WhyEyeFight. Links to the Bausch + Lomb AMD Facebook posts and instructions on how to add the Facebook profile picture frame are available at WhyEyeFight.com.
“We value our continued collaboration with Bausch + Lomb and the #WhyEyeFight program, that helps those living with AMD, and their caregivers, learn more about this disease and the best ways to help prevent significant vision loss from it,” commented Jeff Todd, chief operating officer of Prevent Blindness. “For the third year in a row, with Bausch + Lomb’s leadership, we will be making a positive impact in educating the public on AMD as well as reminding everyone of the importance of healthy vision.”