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The Maryland Society for Sight, founded in 1909 as the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Blindness by a group of dedicated volunteers, eradicated a leading cause of blindness in the early 1900ís: "baby sore eyes" (or ophthalmia neonatorum). By successfully advocating the routine use of silver nitrate drops in the eyes of newborns, the Society was instrumental in eradicating this disease as a cause of blindness in Maryland.




The mission of the Maryland Society for Sight is to prevent blindness and preserve sight for Marylanders. We work to achieve this mission with the Rosalie S. Sauber Preschool Vision Screening and Adult Vision Screening Programs, Mobile Eye Care for the Homeless Program, and Eye Safety Program. Great advances have been made in techniques for preventing blindness. However, many continue to lose their sight because they are not aware of their need for care. Serious eye conditions generally have no symptoms at onset when treatment is most effective. Early detection and treatment of eye disease and injury prevention are our only hope for eliminating the severe visual impairment that currently afflicts 3% of adults and 5% of children in our state.


The Societyís early accomplishments were the development of lighting standards for classrooms and offices in the 1940ís; the battle to restrict the sale of fireworks; and the development of a model program for eye screening for preschoolers.


We know that our biggest potential for improving eye health is by educating the general public, health care professionals and policy makers about injury prevention and early detection and by serving as an umbrella organization that can answer questions and refer people to the services they need. Public advocacy is a very effective method of protecting sight because one brief exposure on the local evening news can spur many people to change their lifestyle habits. Similarly, convincing elected officials to enact policy changes in our schools and on our sports fields has dramatic impact on many lives.  The Society was instrumental in the passage of the first children's sports eye safety law in Baltimore, the only one of its kind in the nation.


The Maryland Society for Sight is working to ensure that people keep their precious sight.





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