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World Sight Day at NYPL


Lions International, working with other organizations that fight blindness, commemorated the first World Sight Day in 1998. Since then, it has been observed throughout the world on the second Thursday of each year; the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness are the chief coordinating agencies at present. Communities and organizations have initiated activities to support the main goal: to focus global attention on blindness, visual impairment and rehabilitation of those with visual impairments. This year, the New York Public Library is working with partner agencies to join in this important work of raising awareness of blindness and the conditions that can lead to it.

The Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus will offer free vision screenings on Thursday, October 13 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in their mobile van which will be parked in front of the Columbus Library. No charge, no reservation—just come and be screened.

Glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness, is an eye disorder that damages the optic nerve, the nerve that carries messages from the eye to the brain. It has no noticeable symptoms or early warning signs and cannot be cured. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Glaucoma affects about 3,000,000 Americans, many of whom are not aware that they have the disease.

Who is at risk for Glaucoma?

  • African-Americans over the age of 40
  • Individuals of Hispanic origin
  • Anyone over the age of 60
  • People with a family history of glaucoma
  • People with diabetes

If you come for the screening, stop into the Columbus Library for a visit. It's a great library with a lot going on. And, tell them thanks for arranging the vision screening!

At 5:30 p.m. that same day, the Muhlenberg Library hosts the program, Vision for a Lifetime: The Latest Advances to Enhance, Preserve and Restore your Vision. Dr. Donald J. D'Amico will present the latest information on the diagnosis and treatment of several common eye disorders. He will provide practical information, as well as some exciting glimpses of future improvements in therapy. Dr. D'Amico, professor and chairman of ophthalmology at Weill-Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, is an internationally recognized vitreo-retinal specialist.The organization Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) has arranged for this presentation. 

RPB, the leading voluntary health organization supporting eye research directed at the prevention, treatment or eradication of all diseases that threaten vision, has committed hundreds of millions of dollars in grant support to provide scientific manpower, technological equipment and eye research laboratory facilities. As a result, RPB researchers have been associated with nearly every major breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of the loss of vision across the past 50 years.

Aided by organizations such as Research to Prevent Blindness, there has been remarkable progress in vision research with the exploration of new drugs, technologies, and procedures to enhance our ability to enhance, preserve, and restore vision for an ever greater number of individuals.  The ongoing revolution in treatments for age-related macular degeneration and the increasing sophistication of cataract surgery are but two of the examples of this rapid progress.

The Muhlenberg Library has a copper loop installed in the Community Room, which allows for enhanced amplification for those attendees with T-switch-equipped hearing aids. Some FM assistive listening devices will also be available.


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