VRC activities can be checked at any time! Call 610-375-8407 ext. 123 to hear up-to-date listings of our events.Thanks for visiting VRC.
A message from Lori Schermerhorn, President/CEO of VRC
As one year ends and another begins, it’s a great time to reflect on where we started, where we finished, and the ever continual glance towards the future. While the VRC has provided
numerous support services for blind and visually impaired adults, we knew that more was needed. In years past, our children clients were being missed, so we began hosting a summer camp 3 years ago. Since then, our enrollment numbers for the kid’s camp continues to increase with each year. As a result, we realized that connecting with our younger clients throughout the year is important as well, so in 2016 we held our first Easter egg hunt and a year end holiday get-together for our younger clients who are blind and visually impaired. We did not let our adult clients out of this fun either. For Christmas, we asked our adult clients to make ornaments and presents for the kid’s event. They gladly accepted this challenge! To see the kid’s faces while opening up their presents was truly priceless. As many staff commented that day, “this is what it’s all about!”. We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! We have already begun planning for this year’s Vision and Hearing Expo coming up in May, and the summer camps for adults and kids! Here’s to making 2017 our best ever!
Till next time…
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma. However, certain groups are at higher risk than others.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning and is the leading cause of preventable blindness. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing and once vision is lost, it’s permanent.
Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric cable with over a million wires, and it is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain.
There is no cure for glaucoma – yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma among
other factors. Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease.
People at high risk for glaucoma should get a complete eye exam, including eye dilation, every one or two years.
The following are groups at higher risk for developing glaucoma.
After cataracts, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans and people of African descent. Glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African Americans than in Caucasians.
People Over 60
Glaucoma is much more common among older people. You are six times more likely to get glaucoma if you are over 60 years old.
Family Members with Glaucoma
The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is hereditary. If members of your immediate family have glaucoma, you are at a much higher risk than the rest of the population.
Family history increases risk of glaucoma four to nine times.
Hispanics in Older Age Groups
Recent studies indicate that the risk for Hispanic populations is greater than those of predominantly European ancestry, and that the risk increases among Hispanics over age 60.
People of Asian descent appear to be at increased risk for angle-closure glaucoma. Angle-closure glaucoma accounts for less than 10% of all diagnosed cases of glaucoma. People of Japanese descent are at higher risk for normal-tension glaucoma.
Some evidence links steroid use to glaucoma. A 1997 study reported in the Journal of American Medical Association demonstrated a 40% increase in the incidence of ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma in adults who require approximately 14 to 35 puffs of steroid inhaler to control asthma. This is a very high dose, only required in cases of severe asthma.
Injury to the eye may cause secondary open-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can occur immediately after the injury or years later.
Blunt injuries that “bruise” the eye (called blunt trauma) or injuries that penetrate the eye can damage the eye’s drainage system, leading to traumatic glaucoma.
The most common cause is sports-related injuries such as baseball or boxing.
Other Risk Factors
Other possible risk factors include:
- High myopia (nearsightedness)
- Central corneal thickness less than .5 mm.
For more information, please visit www.glaucoma.org
Vision Resource Center provides programs and services to blind and visually impaired individuals and their caregivers in Berks County. Our mission is to strive to prevent blindness & visual impairment and to advocate and provide quality education, support services and rehabilitation to enrich the lives of blind and visually impaired persons and their caregivers. Our programs focus on helping to create an environment in Berks County in which all people who are blind or visually impaired can be a part of their communities with equal opportunities. Call 610-375-8407 for more information. For up to date low vision and blind related news and information, check out our page on Facebook.
Thank you for your generosity during our 2016 #GIVINGTUESDAY campaign. For over 85 years, Vision Resource Center of Berks County (formerly Berks County Association for the Blind) has diligently provided services and support to Berks County residents affected by blindness and low vision. Your donations continue to help us every step of the way.