Glaucoma Blinds Without Warning Yet Awareness is Low

Optometrists Offer Advice to Help Protect Against Vision Loss. The Nebraska Optometric Association emphasizes comprehensive eye exams during National Glaucoma Awareness Month
 
 
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Jan. 20, 2012 - PRLog -- Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S., yet awareness about the incurable disease is relatively low, according to the Nebraska Optometric Association (NOA).

Data from the American Optometric Association’s latest Eye-Q consumer survey shows that only 22 percent know that glaucoma primarily causes deterioration of peripheral vision and 56 percent of Americans incorrectly believe glaucoma is preventable.
   
“Glaucoma is often referred to as ‘the sneak thief of sight’ because it can strike without pain or other symptoms,” said Dr. Corey Langford, president of the Nebraska Optometric Association. “Vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored, so early detection and treatment are paramount to preventing blindness.”  

Studies show that over the next 10 years the number of Americans diagnosed with glaucoma will increase by more than one million, yet Americans are still not doing as much as they should to help protect their vision. Comprehensive exams play a critical role in successful outcomes for patients, said Dr. Langford.

“Those individuals who do not visit their eye doctor on a regular basis are putting their vision and quality of life at risk,” he said.

NOA recommends that those who suffer from glaucoma have a dilated eye examination each year. More frequent exams may be needed if additional changes in vision occur.

The AOA survey also revealed that Americans are not aware of the factors that put them most at risk for developing glaucoma. Only 17 percent of those surveyed indicated knowing that race or ethnicity may increase their risk. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, African Americans ages 45 to 65 are 14 to 17 times more likely to go blind from glaucoma than Caucasians.

Other risk factors include people who have a family history of glaucoma, are over age 60, or have had severe eye trauma. Some studies suggest that high amounts of nearsightedness, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes may also be risk factors for the development of glaucoma.

To find a doctor of optometry in your area, or for additional information on glaucoma and other issues concerning eye health, please visit http://www.BetterEyeCareNebraska.com.

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Source:Nebraska Optometric Association
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Tags:Glaucoma
Industry:Medical, Reports, Non-profit
Location:Nebraska - United States
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