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Free Diabetes Eye Screenings Taking Place in Recognition of World Diabetes Day


MARLBOROUGH, MA.– In recognition of World Diabetes Day, Optos, a leading medical technology company for the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of retinal imaging devices, is sponsoring the Optos Diabetes Day on Saturday, November 17th, 2007. On this one day over 100 eye care practices throughout North America will hold free diabetes eye screenings that will include the optomap® Retinal Exam for patients that have diabetes or are predisposed to diabetes.

“We are excited to participate in the Optos Diabetes Day. The earliest signs of diabetes often occur in the periphery of the retina, located at the back of the eye, without any warning signs,” stated Dr. Vincent McMahon of EyeWorks, Keene, NH. “Annual eye exams are vital for people of all ages, especially for diabetics as it helps identify early signs of the disease. The optomap® Retinal Exam enables my colleagues and I to view up to 80% of the retina in a simple, non invasive manner, allowing us to more effectively detect signs of diabetes that presents in our patient’s eyes.”

Following are highlights of some Optos Diabetes Day efforts:

• In Keene, New Hampshire, Dr. Vincent McMahon and his local colleagues organized a statewide effort with the New Hampshire Optometric Association (NHOA) to help raise awareness of the importance of diabetics having regular eye exams.

• In Houston, Texas, Drs. Claudio and Grisel Lagunas are holding events at all four of their practices to allow community members to receive a free diabetes eye screening. The doctors and their staff will donate nearly 20 hours of free eye care services on the screening day.

• In Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, Drs. Joe Hickey and Mark Burke and their associates collaborated with three primary care physicians in their area to hold a diabetes eye screening event where they will open their practice to community members.

Facts About Diabetes and Eye Disease

• 20.8 million Americans have diabetes, representing 7% of the population. 6.2 million Americans remain undiagnosed. There were 1.5 million newly diagnosed cases of diabetes in people ages 20 years or older in 2005.

• Diabetic retinopathy causes 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year making diabetes the leading cause of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. Even though this risk exists, the American Academy of Ophthalmology indicates that only 50% to 60% of diabetics get the recommended yearly eye exams.


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