If there were a disease that affected millions of people of every age and ethnicity, was a leading cause of blindness, yet was preventable, everyone would know about it, right? Wrong. In fact, glaucoma is that disease. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), of the 2.7 million Americans who have glaucoma, 50 percent don’t know it. Glaucoma—a condition in which pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve—may have no symptoms at all in its early stages. If left untreated, it can lead to vision loss and blindness. The problem is, why would someone visit an eye doctor if he had no symptoms or concerns about his vision?

Since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, we want to raise awareness about Glaucoma.

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, from babies to senior citizens, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. In the U.S., more than 120,000 people are blind from glaucoma, and according to the World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. But it does not have to be that way. Glaucoma does not always result in blindness. Glaucoma treatments, like eye drops, laser and surgery, can and do work.

Who is especially at risk for glaucoma?

African-Americans over age 40; everyone over age 60, also Mexican-Americans and people of Asian heritage

Please call the UofL Health – Eye Specialists at (502) 588-0550 to schedule your eye exam!

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Article by: Joern B. Soltau, M.D.

Joern B. Soltau, M.D., is an ophthalmologist with UofL Physicians – Eye Specialists. He is the chair of the academic department at the University of Louisville.

All posts by Joern B. Soltau, M.D.
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