For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2005

Free Screenings for Glaucoma Offered by Wright State Medical Students

DAYTON, Ohio--Wright State University School of Medicine medical students will begin a program this month to preserve the vision of Daytonians. The new Student Sight Savers Program is part of a national and international endeavor to educate the general public about glaucoma and provide screenings for early detection. A $20,000 grant from the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus, the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enables the students, working alongside area ophthalmologists, to conduct monthly glaucoma screenings around the Dayton area.

Glaucoma is an eye disorder marked by abnormally high pressure within the eyeball, which leads to damage of the optic disk and, if not treated, causes impaired vision and sometimes blindness. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and the first leading cause of blindness that is preventable. Glaucoma is often called the silent sight stealer because it advances without warning and often without symptoms. Blindness due to glaucoma is irreversible and has many socioeconomic consequences for society in terms of treatment cost and loss of productive working hours.

Participants in the free screenings will receive a risk-factor questionnaire, visual acuity test, peripheral vision test, intraocular pressure test, and an exit interview where vision-testing measures are explained and referrals are made.

Risk factors for glaucoma include: over the age of 60; of African-American descent; diagnosed with diabetes; or a family history of glaucoma.

"I am elated about our school's participation in this endeavor," says Dovilan Logan, a third-year medical student who applied for the grant. "I believe that many people will be helped and countless spared from potential blindness. This is a wonderful tribute to my grandfather, who was blind, and to the millions of other Americans who've succumbed to blindness through this disease."

The faculty sponsor for Wright States's program is Dr. Patrick Spencer, D.O. The free screenings will be conducted by medical students under the direct supervision of an ophthalmologist. The first screenings are scheduled Saturday, January 22 at Fox Run Inn Nursing Home in Enon, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The second screening is scheduled at the East Dayton Health Center, Saturday, February 26.

If you have questions or would like to request screening at your facility, please call (937) 775-2934 and leave a message for Dovilan Logan.