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Are You At Risk for the Leading Cause of Blindness in the United States?

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. It typically affects people over the age of forty. Early signs may occur when the passages that filter and exchange fluid from within the eye become blocked, causing internal eye pressure to increase. Undiagnosed and untreated, this increased pressure can permanently damage the optic nerve. The chances of developing glaucoma are increased by family history, race, extreme nearsightedness or diabetes.

Glaucoma tends to develop gradually and without symptoms. If there are symptoms, they may include minor blurring of vision, loss of central or peripheral vision, the appearance of colored rings around lights and eye pain or dull headaches.

Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but it can, in most cases, be controlled. A comprehensive eye exam can detect the onset of glaucoma. Your eye care specialist will do further testing and may prescribe medication to control pressure inside the eye or recommend other forms of treatment, including laser or conventional surgery.

For more information, visit the Glaucoma Research Foundation.


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