State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) today announced that the 129th General Assembly has designated March as Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. House Bill 148, which officially designates March as Macular Degeneration Awareness Month throughout the state of Ohio, was jointly sponsored by Rep. Anielski and Rep. Letson (D-Warren) and unanimously passed out of the House during the concurrence vote that was held today.
“As our population in Ohio and the rest of the nation continues to age, it is important that we as public servants, family members and neighbors understand the unfortunate types of diseases and illnesses that our constituents and loved ones are facing,” said Rep. Anielski. “At this point in time, little is understood about the causes or specific factors that increase one’s chances of getting macular degeneration later in life. Therefore, I am hopeful that as more attention is brought to the matter and additional research is conducted, we can being to find solutions for those suffering from the disease.”
Both representatives were honored at the Aging Eye Summit by Ohio’s Aging Eye Public Private Partnership last year at the Ohio State University Havener Eye Institute for their work to bring awareness about the scope and impact of age-related macular degeneration to the state of Ohio.
“We are so grateful that our legislators in Columbus have assisted us by bringing about awareness and heightened education for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Macular Degeneration, “ said Dr. Robert Newcomb, co-chairman of the Ohio’s Aging Eye Partnership and professor of Clinical Optometry at Ohio State University. “As people age, their risk for developing aging eye diseases increases; and one of the most devastating aging eye diseases is Macular Degeneration. Prevention and early diagnosis are critical; so the American Optometric Association recommends a dilated eye examination for everyone over the age of 65 once a year.”
The Aging Eye Public Private Partnership is a statewide collaboration that works to better understand the increasing challenges of the aging eye in Ohio. It is composed of leaders and experts in the areas of vision healthcare and elderly services.