Saturday, December 26, 2015
NEI Notes January as Glaucoma Awareness Month
Glaucoma Awareness Month starts next week. The disease is a major cause of vision loss in the U.S. It affects about 3 million Americans, and that number could more than double by 2050. “Early detection by having a comprehensive dilated eye exam is key to protecting vision,” said Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NEI (National Eye Institute). Anyone can get glaucoma, but African Americans over age 40, everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans, and people with a family history of glaucoma are at higher risk. People at higher risk should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damages the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve cells that relays visual information from the eye to the brain. In the most common form of glaucoma, called primary open angle glaucoma, nerve damage results from increased pressure inside the eye. Increased eye pressure occurs when the fluid that circulates in the eye drains too slowly. Read more.