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The Importance of Glaucoma Awareness

The Importance Of Glaucoma Awareness

16 January 2023

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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, which is a great reminder to talk with your patients who might be at risk of developing the sight-stealing disease. Many patients do not realize Glaucoma is asymptomatic in its earliest stages, and that any vision loss related to this disease is permanent.

How Prevalent Is Glaucoma?

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. More than 3 million Americans, and more than 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it.

Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is more prevalent. Glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.

Who Is More Likely To Develop Glaucoma?

While anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at higher risk:

  • Those age 60 or older, especially among Hispanic/Latino/Asian cultures
  • African Americans older than age 40
  • Those with a family history of glaucoma

African American patients have a dramatically higher risk of advanced vision loss after a new diagnosis of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) when compared to white patients, according to a new study from New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE).

For these higher-risk populations, the National Eye Institute recommends they receive comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years.

Other risk factors for glaucoma include patients with the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Elevated intraocular pressure
  • Thin corneas or low corneal hysteresis (stiffness)
  • Higher hyperopia or myopia
  • History of eye trauma
  • History of migraines or poor blood circulation

New Study Shows Repeated Stress Accelerates Aging Of The Eyes

A November 2022 study from the University of California, Irvine, suggests aging is an important component of retinal ganglion cell death in glaucoma, and that novel pathways can be targeted when designing new treatments for glaucoma patients. The study shows how stress, such as intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation in the eye, causes retinal tissue to undergo epigenetic and transcriptional changes similar to natural aging. And, how in young retinal tissue, repetitive stress induces features of accelerated aging including the accelerated epigenetic age.

Remind patients that annual comprehensive eye exams are the best way to detect eye problems before symptoms arise. R&D Optical Lab, your VSP© authorized independent lab, has the tools and support you need to protect your patients’ vision, including a vast range of photochromics, blue-light blocking treatments, and other cutting-edge lenses to optimize vision and preserve eye health. We stand behind our products and offer a 100 percent no-hassle warranty. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 513-273-4034 or visit us at RandDOptical.com.

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