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“Vote” Yes for FitEyes

Submitted by Vivian on Mon, 07/15/2013 - 9:29pm
From a recent posting to the FitEyes email list:                         
I just want to say how grateful I am to have come upon this site. … the information you have amassed is amazing and has given me some hope in a bit of a scary time for me. The information … [posted]--in the form of research citings and personal experience is priceless.”

     ~ Lisa


How many of us have shared this wave of gratitude in finding FitEyes -- an oasis where we each discover the foundations of healthy vision? I join Lisa in sharing my own personal gratitude. Indeed through FitEyes, my cup runneth over. That's why I volunteer my time to FitEyes.

It was a stroke of good fortune that Dr. Ritch introduced me to David, the founder of FitEyes, and to self-tonometry. And what a treasure trove, I, and thousands of us, have in FitEyes. I have a sense of bonding and connection to thousands of people.

My gratitude for the steps I have taken goes to David who founded FitEyes in 2006 to share his observations and bring light to all our journeys. Each of your thoughtful postings, your personal observations and experiences, your questions, and the lively conversations they inspire, empower us with knowledge about glaucoma, its treatment, what’s new, and what’s next.

FitEyes’ topics are diverse and far ranging. From medicine to meditation, from self-tonometry to surgery, from allopathic to alternative approaches. We can get the details as they happen or in a digest (daily or weekly).

FitEyes is unique. We are community of patients. FitEyes lets us share our concerns and helps us develop, and explore with others, treatment and lifestyle changes that help us manage our glaucoma. Over the last year FitEyes has launched an entirely new website (<a href="">Ask FitEyes</a>); we have published new articles, which one top glaucoma specialist described as "covering everything important about glaucoma"; we have moved our email list to a brand new server that is twice as powerful; we have personally helped many people start self-tonometry and we have improved our supporting technology for these tonometer owners.

These recent improvements cost over $150,000 (in actual cash expenditures). Over the last couple years the volume of postings to our mail list has increased over 400%; in the last year the number of members on our mail list has increased 50%. This growth attests to the urgent and compelling need for FitEyes. To date everything has been made possible through donations from just a few individuals and thousands of hours of volunteer efforts from David, Mark, Jerry, Jay and others. It’s a labor of love. 

However, volunteer efforts alone cannot keep FitEyes going. For example, sustaining and maintaining the technology infrastructure requires approximately $50,000 a year in real cash expenditures. Our full operating budget is substantially larger than this as we also pay staff members to provide support and assistance to you. (For example, even your requests for simple things such as assistance with passwords or changing email options are handled by a paid staff person and I know many of you would not be satisfied with anything less than the prompt and professional responses our staff is known for providing.)

We have dreams for enhancements to help FitEyes serve you even better. Unfortunately, those are not moving along as fast as they could if we had funding. In fact, I'm convinced that FitEyes could do things that no other organization in the world can do. We certainly have the expertise to do it and we have critical insights and experience that other similar organizations seem to be missing. FitEyes can accomplish things that will positively impact every glaucoma patient in the world, extending these benefits far beyond our members. But we cannot do any of that without your support.

FitEyes is solely user supported. We treasure our independence and our members’ freedom to express their opinions and to share personal experiences and do not want to be hampered by industry support. Now we have an urgent need to reach out to all of you to ensure the continuity of the FitEyes we count on, day after day and year after year. We truly need your financial contributions - to sustain and improve this vital resource. Please help us so that we can continue to help you and thousands of others afflicted with glaucoma. FitEyes’ survival depends on your generosity. Make a difference today! Stand up and be counted!

With gratitude and warm regards,

Vivian Ehrlich

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FitEyes Teleconference with Joseph Lovett - March 22

Submitted by Vivian on Fri, 02/24/2012 - 10:32pm

We have all come to FitEyes in an effort to understand and do whatever we can to protect and nurture our eyes. Notwithstanding, some of us harbor fears that we may some day experience vision loss that may hamper or impact the quality of our lives. And some FitEyes members (or their loved ones) have already lost considerable sight.

Joseph Lovett with his dogs outside his apartment in Manhattan, NY 

Joseph Lovett, the filmmaker of Going Blind, understands first-hand what it is like to lose your sight because he has glaucoma, a disease that robs 4.5 million people worldwide of their vision. After years of slowly losing his sight, Joe decided to take action and began to investigate how people respond to vision-loss.


His search began small, with people he met on the streets of his hometown New York City and gradually lead him to places and people of all different ages and backgrounds around the United States. Each tells a fascinating story about dealing with the vision loss caused by sight-robbing diseases, infections and accidents. As a filmmaker, Joe uses the tool he knows best to gather information, to connect with individuals and to find answers to share with the world. The film is scheduled for airing nationally on PBS and elsewhere this October.


Joe has accompanied the film around the globe to increase public awareness of sight loss and low vision issues. Joe has been committed to raising awareness of critical health issues and advocacy throughout his career. He produced the first in-depth AIDS investigations for national television at ABC News 20/20.

A scene from Joseph Lovett's HBO documentary "Cancer: Evolution to Revolution"


He later created In A New Light (ABC, 1992-96), an annual AIDS outreach and entertainment special. Joe’s continuing work against AIDS won him The AIDS Action Foundation AIDS Leadership Award. In 2001, Joe won a Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination for writing, producing and directing HBO’s Cancer: Evolution to Revolution. Joe has produced over 35 hours of programming for prime time television and award-winning independent films that inform, inspire and compel people into action.


Joe has graciously agreed to participate in the next of our series of FitEyes teleconferences. He will discuss his film and also share his personal experience participating in an experimental neuro-stimulation treatment trial in Germany conducted by EBS Technologies. EBS is testing a non-invasive brain stimulation device for the treatment of visual field deficits that result from stroke, brain trauma and glaucoma. A prototype has been tested in clinical trials, with more than 1,000 patients in observational studies. Joe has had 3 courses of EBS NEXT WAVE therapy during the past 21 months and is willing to answer your questions about this experience.


Pets and IOP

Submitted by Vivian on Sat, 09/19/2009 - 9:35am

 Pets and glaucoma

My son recently asked me to cat sit for his three felines.  I discovered that every time I sat down for my relaxation practice, one of the cats immediately sat on my lap.  My son points out that his cats always sense and are attracted to the peace of his Yoga and meditation practice. Has anyone seen a correlation between their “pet love” and lower IOP?  

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Azopt and Betoptic

Submitted by Vivian on Sat, 09/19/2009 - 9:28am

 I read with interest the entries on Xalatan and the advantages of shifting these drops to to address increased IOP in the early hours of the morning.  Has anyone examined how long it takes Azopt and/or Betoptic to take effect and the duration of this effect?

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relationships that nurture

Submitted by Vivian on Sat, 09/19/2009 - 9:23am

 Occasionally, a concerned spouse seeks advice via FitEyes for a loved one who is facing glaucoma.  Praise be to spouses, family and friends who embrace the glaucoma patient with concern and support.  Because the disease is so invisible and protracted, many of us have been able to make small life style adjustments over the years to compensate for our gradual vision loss.  But for those of us with advancing loss of sight, the impact of this progression can lead to frequent trips,

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