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Glaucoma; Facts to Know.

1. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that, when left untreated, damage the optic nerve and can lead to blindness.

2. Often called the "sneak thief of sight," glaucoma usually produces no early warning signs and no symptoms until it has progressed to the point of stealing sight.

3. One in every 30 Americans age 40 and older has glaucoma, but half don't know it, according to Prevent Blindness America.

4. The risk of blindness from glaucoma is four times greater in African Americans than in Caucasians overall, and 15 times greater in African Americans age 45 to 65 than in Caucasians of the same age, according to the National Eye Institute.

5. You are at risk for developing glaucoma if you are African American, over age 60, have family members with glaucoma, diabetic, or very nearsighted.

6. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma, occurring in about 1 percent of all Americans age 50 and older, according to the Glaucoma Foundation. It is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans, occurring six to eight times more often, and at earlier ages than in whites, reports the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

7. Chronic angle-closure glaucoma affects nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. according to the Glaucoma Foundation, and is most common among people of Asian or Eskimo descent, especially older women.

8. Glaucoma has no cure, but it can be controlled. Treatment may include medications and surgery.

9. Although treatment for glaucoma focuses on reducing pressure in the eye, it is possible to have higher than normal eye pressure and not have glaucoma.

10. There is no way to prevent glaucoma, but getting regular, comprehensive eye examinations is the best way to identify disease before it affects vision.

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Editorial Staff of the National Women's Health Resource Center 2001/03/07 2001/12/18 Often called the "sneak thief of sight," glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that damage the nerves carrying images from the eye to the brain. Cyclophotocoagulation,Glaucoma,Gonioscopy,Iridotomy,Perimetry,Pigment dispersion syndrome,Tonometry,Trabeculoplasty
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Publication:NWHRC Health Center - Glaucoma
Article Type:Topic Overview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 18, 2001
Words:1311
Next Article:Glaucoma; Questions to Ask.
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