Q: My mother, age 77, is losing her peripheral vision. I know she needs an eye exam, but her insurance doesn't cover it. What can we do?

A: EyeCare America, a Public Service Foundation of the America Academy of Ophthalmology operates the largest public service program in American medicine including individual eye care programs for seniors, glaucoma, and diabetes.

Eligible callers receive a referral to one of over 7500 volunteer ophthalmologists.  The senior program provides comprehensive eye exams and treatments for any condition detected in the initial visit for up to one year at no out-of-pocket cost.

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Nationwide, EyeCare America Senior Program has helped in treating more than 200,000 cases of eye disease.  Volunteer physicians have agreed to accept Medicare or other insurance as payment in full with no out-of-pocket expense to the patient.  Individuals without insurance of any kind are not billed.  This volunteer program encourages all seniors to have their eyes examined annually.

The EyeCare America Program is cosponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.

Dr. James Maisel, M.D., has practiced as a retina specialist for over 20 years.