72% of Americans Are Unware Glaucoma Typically Has No Warning Signs/Symptoms.

See Your Optometrist for a Comprehensive Eye Exam

Glaucoma, often called the “sneak thief of sight,” affects 2.7 million people in the United States and is the second leading cause of blindness. However, public understanding and awareness of the disease is low. According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2014 American Eye-Q® consumer survey, 72 percent of Americans don’t know that glaucoma typically has no early warning signs or symptoms. Though there is no cure, a comprehensive eye exam from an optometrist can detect and treat glaucoma and prevent vision loss.
Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that can damage the optic nerve and impair peripheral vision. Factors that can put a person at increased risk for glaucoma include race (according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African Americans than Caucasians), family history of glaucoma, diabetes, hypothyroidism, age (people over 60) or severe eye trauma.
Treatment for glaucoma includes prescription eye drops and medication to lower pressure in the eyes. In some cases, laser treatment or surgery may be effective in reducing pressure.
In addition to comprehensive eye exams, the Connecticut Association of Optometrists suggests the following tips to help maintain overall eye health and clear, comfortable vision:
  • Eat green, leafy vegetables and foods rich in nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin C and zinc to protect eyes from disease.
  • Cut down on those bad habits such as smoking and consuming alcohol or excessive caffeine, which can all be harmful to the eyes. 
  • If you work in front of a computer, practice the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away to help avoid digital eye strain.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV-A and UV-B protection year-round. 

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