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June 18, 2004
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director

Streaming Video of AEVR-Sponsored "Aging Eye" Capitol Hill Briefing Now Playing on Web Site

(Washington, DC) Today, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research's (AEVR) Executive Director James Jorkasky announced that an edited video of the May 13, 2004, "Aging Eye" Capitol Hill Briefing was currently available for viewing on the Web site. The video features Dr. Paul Kaufman (University of Wisconsin at Madison) describing the physiological changes in the eye that result in eye disease and vision impairment, while Dr. Janine Smith (National Eye Institute, NEI) reports on data from a recently released NEI study (published in the April 2004 Archives of Ophthalmology) which found a significant increase in the incidence of age-related eye diseases.

Click here to view the video

The study reported that 3.3 million Americans age 40 and older are blind or have low vision, and this number is expected to increase to 5.5 million by year 2020 as a result of an aging population. The study also reported that an additional 35 million Americans age 40 and older currently experience age-related macular degeneration (loss of central vision), diabetic retinopathy (occluded field of vision), glaucoma (loss of peripheral vision) or cataracts (blurred vision). In reporting these study results, Dr. Smith acknowledged that age-related vision loss is a major public health problem with an impact on the quality of life.

"The video is extremely instructive in that it shows the effect on vision of these eye disease conditions, " said Jorkasky, who added that, "AEVR is pleased to make the video widely available since it wants to educate as broadly as possible on the impact of vision loss and the importance of federal funding for eye and vision research."

The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Congress and the public about the importance of federal funding for eye and vision research. AEVR is the first organization of its kind to bring together stakeholders in the research community-including ophthalmic and optometric professionals, consumer advocates, and manufacturers-to speak with a unified voice about the economic and societal value of eye and vision research. Visit AEVR's Web site at