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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 2, 1995




Sight is a precious gift -- one that we cannot afford to take for granted. To ensure that we enjoy a healthy view of the world for many years to come, all of us must make certain our eyes receive good care and attention throughout our lives.

Americans can take steps to guard their vision on a daily basis, while at home and on the job. Using face masks, goggles, or safety glasses can protect our eyes from the dangers of potentially harmful chemicals or machinery, and the appropriate protective eyewear is critical while playing sports. But perhaps the easiest and most effective way that we can protect our sight is with comprehensive eye examinations. Early eye tests can help secure good vision for our children from the start. And with regular eye exams, the threat of vision loss does not have to be a normal part of aging.

For Americans at special risk, preventive care takes on added importance. The 14 million individuals nationwide who have diabetes face the possibility of developing diabetic eye diseases, the leading cause of blindness among working-aged Americans. This condition may show no symptoms -- even in advanced stages -- and it must be detected as soon as possible to prevent vision loss.

Glaucoma, another potentially blinding eye disease, can be controlled when detected early. Approximately 3 million Americans suffer from this disease, which strikes silently, often without pain or noticeable symptoms. Especially at risk are African Americans age 40 and older and all people age 60 and older.

To remind Americans of how they can protect their eyesight, the Congress, by joint resolution approved December 30, 1963 (77 Stat. 629; 36 U.S.C. 169a), has authorized and requested the President to proclaim the first week in March of each year as "Save Your Vision Week."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning March 5, 1995, as Save Your Vision Week. I urge all Americans to participate by making eye care and eye safety an important part of their lives. I invite eye care professionals, the media, and all public and private organizations committed to the goals of sight preservation, to join in activities that will make Americans more aware of the steps they can take to preserve their vision.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.


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