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American Academy of Ophthalmology Enables More Than 3.5 Million People Worldwide to Get EyeSmart(R)

Public Service Program Celebrates Five Years of Preserving Healthy Vision

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 11/09/12 -- The American Academy of Ophthalmology is marking the five- year anniversary of its EyeSmart® public education program. The initiative, which launched in 2007, provides comprehensive, medically accurate information created by ophthalmologists -- eye medical doctors and surgeons -- to inform the public about eye diseases and conditions and related treatment options. The EyeSmart website -- GetEyeSmart.org -- has grown to become the premier online eye-health destination, serving more than 3.5 million people from more than 200 countries around the world. The success of the program is being highlighted to attendees at 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, jointly conducted this year with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology.

The Academy created the EyeSmart program to provide a comprehensive single source of personal information from the most trusted source in comprehensive medical and surgical eye care. Many cases of serious vision loss can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices, early disease intervention, and better understanding of eye disease and its treatment. The Academy believes that patients must be actively engaged partners with their physicians in eye care. EyeSmart through its website and awareness campaigns helps to provide valuable tools to facilitate the patient/physician partnership. The website is increasingly becoming a valuable resource within the medical community as well, with more than 1,500 ophthalmology practices, health organizations and media outlets, among others, providing this vital content to the people they serve by linking to the EyeSmart website.

Central to EyeSmart's outreach efforts are its websites -- GetEyeSmart.org in English and OjosSanos.org in Spanish. These sites deliver comprehensive, reliable eye health information to the public by providing an overview of more than 70 eye diseases and conditions, informative videos and animations, and tips on how to maintain eye health throughout life. One of the site's more popular features, Ask an Eye MD, provides ophthalmologist-generated responses to hundreds of common questions submitted to the site by the public.

Additional highlights of the EyeSmart program include:

"The expansion of the EyeSmart public service program over the last five years is a tremendous accomplishment for the Academy," said David W. Parke II, M.D., CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "The program is a valuable resource for our members, allowing them to direct their patients to the most trustworthy eye-health information available. By empowering the public through our national campaigns and websites, EyeSmart is yet another way the Academy and its member ophthalmologists are striving to help our patients and the public at large to enjoy a lifetime of healthy vision."

The 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is in session November 10-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago. It is the world's largest, most comprehensive ophthalmic education conference. More than 25,000 attendees and 500 companies gather each year to showcase the latest in ophthalmic education, research, clinical developments, technology, products and services. This year's meeting is being held jointly with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology. To learn more about the place Where All of Ophthalmology Meets, visit http://www.aao.org/meetings/annual_meeting/

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons -- Eye M.D.s -- with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" -- ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org.

About EyeSmart®
To protect the gift of sight, people need the highest quality eye care, the most clinically accurate information available, and the ability to make healthy lifestyle choices. That's why EyeSmart, a public service of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the world's largest association of eye medical doctors and surgeons, provides comprehensive, medically accurate information to empower the public in achieving a lifetime of healthy vision. To learn more about how to get EyeSmart, please visit: www.geteyesmart.org and OjosSanos™ the Spanish-language version of the program at: www.ojossanos.org.

Note to media: High-resolution images and interviews with ophthalmologists available upon request.

EyeSmart® and OjosSanos™ are trademarks of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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Contact:
From November 10-13:
Christine Douglass
202-413-0795
cdouglass@aao.org

November 14 onward:
Media Relations
415-561-8524
media@aao.org

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