Again Prevent Blindness America, the American Optometric Assn., and other eye care groups are promoting January as Glaucoma Awareness Month. Why? Studies show that by 2023 the number of Americans diagnosed with glaucoma will increase by more than one million. So these organizations are encouraging people to get eye examinations. As most eye care professionals (ECPs) know, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S., but most Americans don't. According to results from the AOA's latest American Eye-Q consumer survey, 90 percent of respondents think glaucoma is preventable, 86 percent don't know what part of vision glaucoma affects, and 72 percent think glaucoma has early warning signs. What's more, 86 percent of American Eye-Q respondents don't realize that a person's race places him/her at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, for instance, glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African Americans than Caucasians. Other risk factors include those who have a family history of glaucoma, hypothyroidism, are over age 60, or individuals who have had severe eye trauma. Read more.