March 31, 2009 06:59 ET

CNIB Launches the Eye Care About You Campaign to Raise Awareness About Glaucoma

Canadians Lack Critical Knowledge About Glaucoma, According to a Recent CNIB Survey

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 31, 2009) - CNIB

  • Glaucoma is the second leading cause of vision loss among seniors in Canada, but many Canadians lack knowledge of the disease.
  • Glaucoma is an eye condition that is usually painless and has no symptoms; most people do not know they have it. Regular eye examinations are the best way to detect glaucoma.
  • To raise awareness about glaucoma and the importance of early detection, CNIB is launching a nationwide initiative called Eye Care About You.
  • Until May 9, Canadians can visit to learn about glaucoma and participate in an online photo contest for a grand prize of photography equipment valued at approximately $3,000.
  • Entrants are asked to upload a photograph depicting the people, places or things they care about, along with a description of why that image is important to them.

Eye-opening survey finds Canadians lack critical knowledge about glaucoma

  • A recent CNIB survey found that Canadians over the age of 40 hold significant misconceptions about glaucoma.
  • Nearly seven in 10 Canadians believe that glaucoma presents symptoms, while one-in-three think their eyes would "hurt or feel different" if they had glaucoma. In fact, glaucoma is known as the "silent thief" - a person can slowly encounter loss of peripheral vision, painlessly, even unnoticeably.
  • The survey also found that close to a third (28 per cent) of respondents have not had their eyes examined in the past two years, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority (88 per cent) name sight as the most important of their five senses.
  • Unfortunately, many Canadians do not learn they have glaucoma until it's too late. Six out of ten Canadians surveyed believe that glaucoma is curable. The reality is, once vision loss has occurred you cannot reverse the loss of vision and the damage is permanent. However, if glaucoma is detected early, it can be controlled.

About the survey

  • This survey was conducted as part of CNIB's Eye Care About You campaign in order to determine how much Canadians know about glaucoma and its risk factors. 800 Canadians aged 40 and up answered an online survey. Survey results from a sample of Canadians of this size can be considered accurate to +/- 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The survey was undertaken by CNIB in collaboration with Babcock Consultants, with data collection by Research Now. Eye Care About You is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Canada Inc.

Dr. Keith Gordon, Vice President of Research, CNIB

"It's possible to have glaucoma and not even know it. In fact, only half of the 250,000 Canadians living with glaucoma are aware they have this serious disease."

Dr. Yvonne Buys, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto and president of the Canadian Glaucoma Society

"Regular eye examinations by an eye doctor are the best way to maintain vision health and prevent glaucoma from sneaking up on you."

About CNIB

CNIB is a nationwide, community-based, registered charity committed to public education, research and the vision health of all Canadians. CNIB provides the services and support necessary to enjoy a good quality of life while living with vision loss. To find out more, visit or call 1-800-563-2642.

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