ATLANTA (WTOC) – January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the African American and Hispanic populations in America, according to Prevent Blindness Georgia.
Damaging effects of glaucoma may be detected through an eye exam before a person notices any symptoms. By the time symptoms start to appear, some permanent damage to the eye has usually occurred, according to Prevent Blindness Georgia.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of sight by damaging a part of the eye called the optic nerve.
Prevent Blindness America says risk factors include:
- Age: Those that are 40 and older are more likely to develop glaucoma. The older you are, the greater your risk.
- Race: Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African American and Hispanic populations in America.
- Family History: If you have a parent or sibling who has glaucoma, you are more likely to develop the disease.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.
- Nearsightedness: People who are very nearsighted are at greater risk.
- Eye Injury or Surgery: Those who have had eye surgery or eye injuries may develop secondary glaucoma.
- Steroid Medication: Steroids may increase the risk of glaucoma when used for extended periods of time.
For more information, go to www.pbga.org or call 404.266.2020.