Not Just for Seniors: January is Glaucoma Awareness Month!
By Rhonda Kay Leonard
Did you know that glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world? The National Institutes on Health (NIH) reports, “About 2.3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma. It is estimated that an additional 2 million have the disease but don’t know it.”
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, but adults age 60 and older, especially African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and people who have family history of glaucoma are at a higher risk. The National Eye Institute reports other risk factors include diabetes, hypertension and previous eye injury.
Shockingly, the NIH MedlinePlus finds, “African Americans experience glaucoma at a rate three times that of whites. They suffer blindness four times more frequently. Between the ages of 45 and 64, glaucoma is 15 times more likely to cause blindness in African Americans than in whites.”
Glaucoma is easily detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam, yet less than half of all adult Americans receive a dilated eye exam at least every two years. The message is simple: when detected early, before vision loss, it is possible to slow the progression of the disease. The Glaucoma Research Foundation tells us, “Diagnosis is the first step to preserving your vision.”
When is the last time you had a dilated eye exam? If you’re not sure, take this opportunity to ask your eye doctor.
This story is sponsored by United Homecare Services. If you are interested in finding out more or scheduling a no-obligation consultation, call 503-433-8079.