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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Posted Jan 04 2013 6:00am

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. In the United States, over 100,000 people are blind form glaucoma, and greater than two million people are affected. Glaucoma presents a significant health problem which may get worse in the years ahead as people age and live longer.

Dr. Salman Ali

Many times there are no signs and symptoms associated with glaucoma. It is generally a slowly progressive disease where one loses his/her peripheral vision from optic nerve damage. Patients are typically unaware of their vision loss until late in the disease process.  Central vision may also be lost, which can signify that the disease is in an advanced stage.

It is important to have eye examinations on a regular basis to monitor the health of your eyes. Typically the eye doctor will check your eye pressure and examine your optic nerve to screen for glaucoma. The doctor may perform additional testing in individuals with greater risk factors.

Well known risk factors include:

  • High eye pressure
  • Advanced age
  • Racial background
  • Family history
  • Decrease corneal thickness

Further testing may include formal peripheral vision testing, an optic nerve scan, and photographs of your eyes to monitor for changes. The most common type of glaucoma in the United States is more prevalent in African Americans. However, people from all ethnic backgrounds are affected.

The Krieger Eye Institute is equipped with state of the art equipment to screen and diagnose glaucoma. We offer complete eye care including laser and surgical management of glaucoma. Call 410-601-8579 today to schedule a comprehensive eye examination. Glaucoma is a treatable disease, but vision loss is irreversible. Take control of your eyes before glaucoma does!

For more information on glaucoma and other eye disease please visit http://www.geteyesmart.org/

-Written by  Salman Ali, M.D. , Comprehensive Ophthalmology and Glaucoma, Cataract and Glaucoma Surgery, Krieger Eye Institute , Sinai Hospital of Baltimore

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