Did you know it is the leading cause of Blindness for Black people?
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss.
After cataracts, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Half of those with glaucoma don’t know they have it. Have you received an eye exam recently?
• Glaucoma strikes earlier and progresses faster in African Americans.
• The risk for glaucoma is 20% higher if glaucoma is in your family.
African Americans belonging to any of these risk groups have an even greater risk of developing glaucoma:
• Over age 40
• Extreme nearsightedness
• Prolonged steroid use
Glaucoma occurs about five times more often in African Americans. Blindness from glaucoma is about six times more common. In addition to this higher frequency, glaucoma often occurs earlier in life in African Americans — on average, about 10 years earlier than in other ethnic populations. African Americans should get a thorough check for glaucoma every one to two years after age 35.
For information about glaucoma, visit http://www.glaucoma.org. Pay close attention to Glaucoma and African Americans .
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Embrace Your Community
Photos: http://www.africanamericanmarriagecounselor.org and google images