Their goal is to "unlock eyecare for millions."

(Press Release) CHICAGO -- Prevent Blindness, in partnership with See Now, is taking the campaign to end avoidable blindness in the U.S. to congressional leaders in an effort to stop the growing number of people living with preventable vision loss.

According to the Prevent Blindness report “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” vision problems cost the U.S. $145 billion annually. As Congress begins considering federal funding allocations, Prevent Blindness is urging them to unlock eye care for 15 million Americans by committing an additional $6.3 million to sight-saving eye health programs that will help both children and adults.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine warned in its recent report “Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow” that correctable vision impairment must be eliminated by 2030 to avoid a public health crisis.

"All Americans have a right to sight, but today, that right is threatened," said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. "Lack of access to eye health services causes needless vision loss for millions of people. We are asking our nation’s leaders to address this public health issue by providing the resources we need to save sight."

As part of the initiative, the See Now campaign features video testimony from patient ambassadors from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas sharing their stories of how access to eyecare has changed their lives. Additionally, Prevent Blindness is urging the public to join the See Now campaign and commit to calling on Congress to increase funding by signing its petition.

In the U.S., See Now is partnering with Prevent Blindness to mobilize audiences to call for an increase in federal attention to the growing problems related to eye health.

See Now is a new global initiative created by The Fred Hollows Foundation and aimed at increasing awareness of eye health and mobilizing the public to end avoidable sight loss. A core approach of See Now is to collaborate with existing eye health organizations to elevate and amplify the stories of their work.

In addition to the U.S., the initial campaign includes an awareness effort in India.

For more information on the Prevent Blindness/See Now initiative, visit www.preventblindness.org or www.SeeNow.org, or call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020. For information on Prevent Blindness and advocacy efforts, visit preventblindness.org/getting-started-advocacy.