Proclamation 5150—Save Your Vision Week, 1984
By the President of the United States of America
Every day we rely on vision to provide us with a clear, vivid picture of our surroundings and the people we care about. Although we use our eyesight in virtually all activities, we often take it for granted until it is endangered by disease or injury. This is unfortunate because there are steps we can take to protect our eyes and to safeguard the precious gift of sight.
As a sight-saving precaution, everyone should have regular, professional eye examinations. Most people who have these checkups will get the reassuring news that their eyes are healthy. But a few people will receive an early warning of some serious eye disease requiring prompt treatment. An eye examination revealing the need for treatment of glaucoma or some other sight-destroying disease could spare thousands of Americans visual loss each year.
People with diabetes should be particularly aware of the need to have their eyes examined regularly to prevent the blindness that sometimes stems from the disease. This is especially important because there now is a sight-saving treatment which is highly effective if applied early enough in the course of the disease.
Regular eye checkups are also of special importance for older people because many serious eye diseases tend to strike in the later years. With early warning of a need for treatment, people can obtain the required medical care and give themselves the best possible chance of retaining good vision throughout their lives. Children also need regular eye examinations in order that readily treatable problems which otherwise could needlessly affect them in school and at play may be detected.
Protecting our eyes against injury is another way to preserve vision. In work with chemicals or machinery which might be dangerous to the eyes, safety glasses, goggles, or a face mask should be worn. Protective eyewear is also important for people participating in sports.
In looking to the needs of others, we can arrange to donate our eyes after death and, in this way, offer the gift of sight to a person who needs corneal transplant surgery. We also can support the many fine organizations which are devoted to research, sight conservation, and rehabilitation of the visually handicapped.
To encourage the American people to cherish the gift of sight and take steps to protect it, the Congress, by joint resolution approved December 30, 1963 (77 Stat. 629, 36 U.S.C. 169a), has requested the President to proclaim the first week in March as "Save Your Vision Week."
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning March 4, 1984, as Save Your Vision Week, 1984. I urge all Americans to participate in appropriate observances and activities and to make eye care and eye safety an important part of their lives.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.
Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on February 14.
Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5150—Save Your Vision Week, 1984 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/261444