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According to the National Eye Institute, Glaucoma on the Rise

Posted Jan 17 2013 12:00am
January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. To raise awareness of this often symtom free disease, I'm running the following message from the National Eye Institute . Please make sure to get your own eyes checked and see to it that your elderly loved ones do. - Carol

It’s the first month of the New Year, a time when more than 40 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions. What are your resolutions for the New Year? Losing weight? Quitting smoking? How about learning more about glaucoma and how you can protect your sight?

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the optic nerve of the eye and lead to vision loss and blindness. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form. In this condition, fluid builds up in the front chamber of the eye, and the optic nerve is damaged by the resulting increase in eye pressure. This potentially blinding eye disease currently affects 2.7 million people nationwide, and studies show that at least half of all people with glaucoma do not know they have it.

“While anyone can develop glaucoma, we encourage people at higher risk to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years,” said director Dr. Paul Sieving of the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health . “Individuals at higher risk include African Americans age 40 and over; everyone over the age of 60, especially Mexican Americans; and people with a family history of glaucoma.”

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