May 01, 2012 08:00 ET

CNIB Challenges Canadians to Make Vision Health a Priority

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 1, 2012) - May is Vision Health Month and, backed by the campaign theme, "Eyes are for life," CNIB is calling on all Canadians to take better care of their eyes.

"Canadians need to take vision health more seriously," warned John Rafferty, CNIB's President and CEO. "Many serious eye diseases have no symptoms. Even if you have 20/20 vision you could be at risk of developing an eye disease."

Rafferty added: "Vision Health Month is a national, month-long campaign designed to mobilize Canadians to take control of their vision health."

CNIB's goal? Reduce the number of Canadians who lose their sight each year by 50 per cent by 2020. That's 22,500 Canadians whose sight could be saved every year - the size of a typical town.

"Early detection of eye disease is critical to ensuring you can receive treatment that could save your sight," said Rafferty. "A complete eye exam by an optometrist is an excellent way to detect many serious eye diseases that can lead to vision loss."

To help spread that message in communities across the country CNIB has joined forces with the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) - National Vision Health Month Partner. For every eye exam conducted by participating optometrists during the month of May, $2 will be donated to CNIB.

Rafferty confirmed: "One in seven Canadians will develop a serious eye disease in their lifetime. But few Canadians realize that 75 per cent of vision loss can be prevented or treated."

In addition to getting regular eye exams, simple lifestyle choices like eating a healthy diet, not smoking, exercising regularly and wearing UV-protected sunglasses year-round can go a long way to help maintain vision health.

As part of the Vision Health Month movement, CNIB is also leading a range of exciting community events, public education activities and fundraising campaigns like Shades of Fun - a fun-filled event that's all about wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV damage, and having a good time for a great cause.

Funds raised during Vision Health Month will help CNIB reduce avoidable sight loss in Canada and provide community-based programs across the country to ensure no Canadian has to face the challenges of sight loss alone.

To learn more about Vision Health Month and how to maintain good vision health for life, visit

CNIB is grateful for the support of its Vision Health Month partners who are making a real difference when it comes to educating Canadians about vision health. CNIB would especially like to thank the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) as National Vision Health Month Partner, Bayer and Loblaw Optical/Joe Fresh® as Proud Supporters and The Weather Network, Postmedia Network and Accessible Media Inc. as National Media Partners.

About CNIB

CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To learn more, visit or call the toll-free CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.

To view or download CNIB PSAs, visit:

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