January is Glaucoma Awareness Month
"Once you appreciate one of your blessings, one of your senses, your sense of hearing, then you begin to respect the sense of seeing and touching and tasting, you learn to respect all the senses"
— Maya Angelou
According to BrightFocus Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing brain and eye health, an estimated half of the three million Americans living with glaucoma may be unaware they have this sight-stealing disease. Once vision is lost to glaucoma, it can never be regained. Vision loss can be prevented, however, if glaucoma is detected and treated early.
BrightFocus Foundation, in recognition of January’s Glaucoma Awareness Month, is offering free resources in English and Spanish to encourage comprehensive, dilated-pupil eye exams every one to two years for those at higher risk for this disease. That includes individuals with a family history of glaucoma, persons over the age of 60—particularly Hispanics—and African Americans over age 40.
“The terrible effects of this disease can be reduced through early detection,” said BrightFocus President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller. “We want to get the word out to at-risk groups: eye exams can literally save your sight.”
Free BrightFocus resources include:
• New Visual SnapShots, which graphically illustrate information on glaucoma prevalence, detection, and treatment.
• Publications, including the brochure Glaucoma-The Essential Facts, as well as booklets and fact sheets.
• Educational videos and audio files, in English and Spanish, with information from doctors and patients.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that eventually lead to optic nerve damage, which can result in vision loss and, if not detected, complete blindness. A growing segment of the Baby Boom generation is now over age 60 and thus more at risk for the disease. In the U.S., glaucoma is three to four times more common among African Americans and Hispanic populations than among non-Hispanic Caucasians. In middle age, African Americans are 15 times more likely than Caucasians to experience blindness from the disease.
For more information, contact the ?BrightFocus Foundation (www.brightfocus.org).
Michael Buckley, Vice President of Public Affairs?BrightFocus Foundation?Phone: (301) 556-9370; Email: [email protected]
Alice L. Kirkman, Marketing and Communications Manager ?BrightFocus Foundation?Phone: (301) 556-9349; Email: [email protected]