ASRS introduces campaign to increase awareness of retinal disease

The ASRS "See for a Lifetime; See a Retina Specialist" initiative will spotlight early detection and outline the importance of seeing a retina specialist.

For the first time ever, the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) is hitting radio and television with radio public service announcements (PSAs) intended to educate the public about protecting their vision from preventable blindness and vision loss due to retinal disease and the importance of expert retina specialist care.

The 30-second and 60-second TV and radio spots are being presented in both English and Spanish and will feature retina specialists urging the public to learn the symptoms of two common adult retinal conditions, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy. They will urge the public to seek care from a retina specialist promptly to safeguard vision should they have any symptoms of disease.

In the spots, experts will detail for the audience the symptoms of AMD and diabetic retinopathy, such as straight lines looking wavy or distorted, or floaters in the field of vision, and encourage the public to immediately seek out a retina specialist for treatment to protect healthy vision and experience all of life’s most precious moments.

According to ASRS, AMD and diabetic retinopathy are two of the leading causes of blindness and low vision in the United States. Together, the diseases affect nearly 18 million Americans and vision loss leads to $8 billion in lost productivity annually.

“Millions of Americans are at risk of losing vision and even going blind from conditions a retina specialist can effectively treat when caught early, and we are determined to save the sight of as many people as possible through this critical campaign,” ASRS President Philip J. Ferrone, MD, FASRS, said in a news release. “Our goal is to empower the public to care for their vision, to watch for the symptoms of retinal disease, and to find a retina specialist at the first sign or symptom so they can ‘See for a Lifetime’.”

According to ASRS, the spots will direct viewers to See for a Lifetime (www.SeeforaLifetime.org), the homepage of ASRS’s public education initiative See for a Lifetime See a Retina Specialist, which offers resources for retina patients, their families, and caregivers, providing easy access to tools and information specific to retinal conditions and on preserving healthy vision for a lifetime.

ASRS noted in its news release that the resources include English and Spanish infographics, patient guides, and condition-specific fact sheets, the Retina Health for Life podcast seriespatient stories, a find a retina specialist locator, and more.

“Through our See for a Lifetime See a Retina Specialist initiative and our new PSA campaign, we are striving to make retinal health and early detection of retinal diseases a priority for the public and healthcare providers alike,” Ferrone said in the release. “Don’t take your vision for granted, learn more about retinal disease, share the information with friends and family and take action if any symptoms occur so your future can be filled with a clear view of the people and places you love most.”

See for a Lifetime is supported by the Foundation of the American Society of Retina Specialists, Allergan, Genentech, Novartis, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.