Discovery Eye Foundation

The Discovery Eye Foundation created the Macular Degeneration Partnership program to raise awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), educate patients about the disease and provide support and resources to them and their families. The overall mission of Discovery Eye Foundation is to support research, education and advocacy related to sight-threatening eye diseases and their treatments, improving the quality of life for patients and their families.
May 17, 2011

Free Vision Symposium

Vision Symposium
Vision Symposium

All our services and materials for patients and their families are free, in part because of YOUR support!

On May 14, Discovery Eye Foundation presented the 2011 Vision Symposium in San Diego, CA.  It was a large and warm gathering of eye doctors, researchers, patients and family members.  Sessions included a presentation on the future of cataract surgery as it affects people with other eye conditions and an update on our research at the Gavin Hebert Eye Laboratories at the University of California, Irvine.

Following that session, attendees had the opportunity to choose from talks on Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma and Keratoconus.  We were fortunate to have leaders in the field come out on a Saturday morning to share their knowledge.  Dr. Michael Goldbaum, from Scripps Eye Institute, brought people up to date on what we know about AMD, the treatments available and how lifestyle changes can slow vision loss.  Dr. Paul E. Tornambe, also from Scripps, gave a hopeful presentation on the latest research, including therapies that may become available in the next year or so.  These include something for dry macular degeneration, which has no treatment at this time.

Dr. Avani Patel brought her skills as a low vision specialist to share with the audience the variety of devices available to help low vision and also tips and tricks on managing daily activities despite limited vision.

During the conference, exhibitors of useful devices and services were available to demonstrate digital magnifiers and let people know about resources available to those with vision loss.

Having this information can change people's lives and we can do it, thanks to YOU!

Henry J. Klassen, MD
Henry J. Klassen, MD


Feb 17, 2011

Thank You for All You Do

AMD Patient
AMD Patient

It's a new year here at the Macular Degeneration Partnership and new opportunities to make a difference to seniors and their families.

We'd like to start the year by saying "thank you" to all our members and supporters.  You've helped us to reach more people at risk for macular degeneration and to help those who are struggling with vision loss.  We appreciate all you do!

Early 2011 is full of opportunities and we'll be very busy.  We are once again partnering with Braille Institute, bringing presentations on macular degeneration to communities in Southern California.  There are 5-7 of these sessions every month, reaching hundreds of people.  At every meeting, there are always people who didn't know that AMD can be genetic and that their family members are at risk.  We're able to give them healthy lifestyle recommendations for their adult children and siblings - information that may delay the onset of macular degeneration vision loss.  At a recent senior center event, several people said it was "...the best talk we've ever had...!".  That's the kind of comment that keeps us going!

In May, Discovery Eye Foundation will bring the Macular Degeneration Partnership to San Diego for a Vision Symposium.  In addition to hearing physician experts on AMD, attendees will be able to try out assistive devices and learn about free services available in the community.  Folks really appreciate being able to ask questions directly from retinalogists and low vision specialists.  They'll be getting an update on the exciting research currently underway for treatments for both dry and wet AMD.

One of the best things we offer is our  toll-free "warm line" for patients and family members.  We spend a lot of time on the phone, answering questions, clearing up confusion about vitamins and treatment, providing local resources and just being there to listen.  Inevitably, we hear from callers, "I just learned more from you on this call than in years of searching for information.  I feel so much better having talked with you!". 

Read the current newsletter for research information and tips on living with low vision.


Dec 2, 2010

Saving Sight Through Outreach to Seniors


The past months have been an extremely busy time for the Macular Degeneration Partnership. Through our various projects, we have reached tens of thousands of people.

The Macular Degeneration Partnership collaborated with other vision organizations during AMD Week in September to send over half a million messages prompting people to get an eye exam.  Early detection can lead to early treatment - saving sight for millions of people with age-related macular degeneration.  The AMD Week Project included personalized e-cards that could be forwarded to family and friends. Involving our members in advocacy helps us to reach more people.

The Partnership has been very active in the Southern California region, addressing senior groups as part of a collaboration with the Braille Institute.  On average, we visit 3 senior communities a month to share the Amsler Grid screening test and vision simulation card, as well as to answer individual questions about AMD.

At the annual AARP Event and Expo in Orlando, Florida, thousands of seniors passed through the Vision Pavilion.  While at our booth, they used the screening test, tried on protective sunglasses, learned how better lighting could help vision and had hands on experience with digital magnifiers.  After the show, over 1000 new people had learned about macular degeneration and controlling their risk factors for the disease.

Our toll-free warm line and email response system are always busy with questions.  Our personal attention is what sets us apart.  As one caller said, " Thank you so much for this!  It is comforting to know there is a 'voice' at the other end."  Call us at 888-430-9898 if you have any questions about macular degeneration or need help finding resources.


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