U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Eye Health

NIH National Eye Institute - NEI

The National Eye Institute (NEI), established in 1968, has primary responsibility within the National Institutes of Health for supporting and conducting research aimed at improving the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of eye diseases. In addition, the NEI encourages the application of research findings to clinical practice, heightens public awareness of eye and vision problems, and cooperates with voluntary organizations that engage in related activities. The NEI coordinates the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), a Federal effort to prevent vision loss by encouraging early diagnosis and timely treatment of eye diseases.

Review Date: July 13, 2011

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NIH National Institute on Aging

NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. In 1974, Congress granted authority to form NIA to provide leadership in aging research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs relevant to aging and older people. Subsequent amendments to this legislation designated the NIA as the primary Federal agency on Alzheimer’s disease research. The Institute's mission is to: •Support and conduct genetic, biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and economic research related to the aging process, diseases and conditions associated with aging, and other special problems and needs of older Americans. •Foster the development of research and clinician scientists in aging. •Communicate information about aging and advances in research on aging to the scientific community, health care providers, and the public.

Review Date: August 11, 2011

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American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the largest national membership association of ophthalmologists, medical and osteopathic doctors who provide comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical and optical care. More than 90 percent of practicing U.S. Eye M.D.s are Academy members, and the Academy has more than 7,000 international members. The Academy provides a wide variety of programs, products and services to Eye M.D.s and the patients.

Review Date: December 06, 2011

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American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) provides support and resources for Pediatric Ophthalmologists, Strabismologists, related personnel and their patients by way of its Internet Web site. Although AAPOS is a membership organization, 90% of its online resources are available to the general public.

Review Date: January 07, 2009

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American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association (ADA), formed in 1940, was created to fight diabetes through education and research. Local chapters and affiliates use volunteers to organize educational and screening programs and to conduct fundraising activities to support research aimed at care, control, and cure of diabetes. The Association supports research into the nature and cause of diabetes, more effective means of treatment, factors leading to complications, and prevention and cure of diabetes. Salary support is provided to promising young researchers, and research grants provide scientists with equipment, supplies, and technical assistance for the study of diabetes. Research symposia and scientific sessions are conducted annually. Five professional journals keep the medical and scientific communities up to date in their respective fields. Patient educational programs are conducted by the State and metropolitan affiliates. The ADA also cooperates with governmental organizations at all levels and encourages governmental legislation and programs directed at people with diabetes. There are 40 affiliate organizations and over 800 local chapters.

Review Date: July 14, 2009

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American Optometric Association

Founded in 1898, the AOA is a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations. Through these affiliations, the AOA serves members consisting of optometrists, students of optometry, paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Together, the AOA and its affiliates work to provide the public with quality vision and eye care. The AOA sets professional standards, helping its members conduct patient care efficiently and effectively; lobbies government and other organizations on behalf of the optometric profession; provides research and education leadership.

Review Date: December 15, 2011

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Association for Macular Diseases

The Association for Macular Diseases was formed by patients in 1977 to promote education on and research into macular diseases and to provide support for afflicted persons and their families. It also disseminates information on resources and encourages the post-mortem donation of eyes with macular disease for research purposes. We respond to Spanish inquiries by mail only.

Review Date: January 09, 2009

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Foundation Fighting Blindness, Inc.

The urgent mission of The Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments, and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.

Review Date: March 28, 2011

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Glaucoma Foundation

The mission of the Glaucoma Foundation (TGF) is to fund groundbreaking research and to educate the public about the disease and the importance of early detection to prevent blindness. The Foundation works to encourage and support basic and applied research in glaucoma, to gain and disseminate new information about the causes and treatment of glaucoma, and to further efforts to identify and develop novel approaches to preserve visual function and reverse blindness caused by glaucoma.

Review Date: August 31, 2011

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Glaucoma Research Foundation

The Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the sight of people who have glaucoma through research and education. GRF was established in 1978 to support medical research into the causes and treatments of glaucoma. The organization also coordinates the Glaucoma Support Network, a national, telephone-based peer support network for glaucoma patients and their families (8:30 am - 5:00 pm, PST, Monday-Friday). GRF welcomes inquiries and encourages public and professional education.

Review Date: November 21, 2008

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Low Vision Center

The Low Vision Center (LVC), is a nonprofit organization that provides up-to-date information about eye diseases; programs about low vision for interested groups; referrals to other agencies in related fields; and support and information to families, friends, and the general public. LVC has a hands-on display of visual aids that includes magnifiers, closed circuit TV's, writing materials, reading aids, sunglasses, lighting, kitchen aids, and household aids; advises clients on how to select the aids and where to purchase them. LVC also sells a select group of low vision aids. Appointment required. There is no fee.

Review Date: October 13, 2011

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Macular Degeneration Partnership

The Macular Degeneration Partnership is a coalition of patients and families, researchers, clinicians, industry partners and leaders in the fields of vision and aging. Its mission is to create an unprecedented collaboration among all these parties to disseminate information about age-related macular degeneration (AMD), provide support to patients and marshal resources for a cure. The Partnership maintains a Help Center on the Internet that provides up to date information on age-related macular degeneration, living with AMD, low vision rehabilitation, along with tools and other related resources. For patients and family members without access to the Internet, the Partnership also maintains a toll-free telephone line. Callers can leave their name and address to receive more detailed information and a free home test for AMD. MDP is a program of the non-profit Discovery Eye Foundation.

Review Date: March 09, 2011

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National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

The National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) is a national organization that enables parents to find information and resources for their children who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities. NAPVI created and maintains the only national toll-free phone line designed to serve families whose children are blind or visually impaired. NAPVI provides leadership, support, and training to assist parents in helping children reach their potential. NAPVI is dedicated to giving emotional support, initiating outreach programs, networking, and advocating for the educational needs and welfare of children who are blind or visually impaired.

Review Date: March 24, 2011

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National Keratoconus Foundation

The National Keratoconus Foundation (NKCF) is an outreach program of the Discovery Eye Foundation, a non-profit organization. The NKCF is dedicated to increasing the awareness and understanding of keratoconus and the support of scientific research into the cause and treatment of keratoconus. The Board of Directors of the Discovery Eye Foundation founded the NKCF in 1986. The NKCF was created to: Provide support and information about keratoconus to patients, their families, and eye care professionals.Provide educational materials and support programs designed to help those with keratoconus better understand and cope with this condition. Provide support and encourage researchers to work together to discover new technology for keratoconus treatment and eventually a cure for keratoconus. .

Review Date: February 14, 2013

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New Eyes for the Needy, Inc.

New Eyes for the Needy is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1932 to improve the vision of the less fortunate. New Eyes for the Needy works to empower children and adults in the United States and overseas with the improved vision they need to pursue a better quality of life for themselves, their families and their communities. To that end, New Eyes purchases new prescription eyeglasses through a voucher program for children and adults in the United States who cannot afford glasses on their own. New Eyes accepts, recycles and distributes donated glasses for poor people overseas.

Review Date: May 27, 2011

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Prevent Blindness America

Prevent Blindness America, formerly known as the National Society to Prevent Blindness (NSPB), was founded in 1908. It promotes the prevention of blindness through a comprehensive program of community services, public and professional education, and research. Prevent Blindness attempts to translate medical and technological advances in the field of eye care into practical and obtainable services for the public. It sponsors vision screening and educational projects for the detection of vision problems in young children and adults. Speakers and educational materials are geared to such specific audiences as elementary school children, senior citizens, nurses, and agricultural workers. Information and advisory services related to current treatments and available facilities, research findings, and medical knowledge in the field of eye care and eye disease, and eye health and eye safety are available upon request by phone or letter. Prevent Blindess' program of professional education provides health professionals and health service groups with eye-care resource materials and educational programs related to services in the community. The group conducts statistical studies on the causes of blindness and funds laboratory and clinical research projects related to the prevention of blindness. There are affiliates and divisions in 23 States.

Review Date: February 04, 2011

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Research to Prevent Blindness

Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) is the leading voluntary health organization supporting eye research directed at the prevention, treatment or eradication of all diseases that threaten vision. In pursuit of this objective, RPB 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. Today, RPB provides major eye research funding to more than 50 leading scientific institutions in the U.S. and supports the work of hundreds of talented vision scientists engaged in a diverse range of disease-oriented research. RPB's far-reaching activities are planned and carried out with the expert advice and guidance of a Scientific Advisory Panel composed of distinguished leaders in the field of medical science. RPB neither seeks nor accepts funds from any governmental source. It does not conduct expensive mass mailing campaigns but, rather, relies on bequests and selective appeals to interested individuals, corporations and private foundations to support its research effort. Anyone wishing information concerning current research findings related to a specific eye disease may contact RPB. To obtain a full description of RPB's programs, its audited financial statements and a listing of the volunteers who serve on its Board of Trustees and Scientific Advisory Committees, download RPB's Annual Report.

Review Date: January 13, 2011

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Schepens Eye Research Institute

This is an affiliate of the Harvard Medical School located in Boston, Massachusetts and is the largest independent eye research institute in the United States. Originally known as the Retina Foundation, the Institute has expanded its research agenda to include to virtually every part of the eye and most major eye diseases that cause blindness, and claims the following major accomplishments: has provided greater knowledge and understanding of the structure & function of the retina, vitreous, cornea, eye surface; major advances in diagnosis and surgical management of vitreoretinal diseases; development of innovative diagnostic technologies such as the binocular indirect ophthalmoscope (now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution), scanning laser ophthalmoscope, ophthalmic lasers; and pioneering research into retinal transplantation. The Institute has a staff of 220 and concentrates its research program on the causes and prevention of blinding eye diseases.

Review Date: December 16, 2008

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Sight and Hearing Association

The Sight and Hearing Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling lifetime learning by identifying preventable loss of vision and hearing through the development of effective screening, education, and research programs. Projects include a mobile childhood vision and hearing screening program, which helps detect vision and hearing problems from infancy through high school. In addition, the organization participates in community and corporate health events that focus on adult vision and hearing issues.

Review Date: February 26, 2013

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