January Is Glaucoma Awareness Month

eyeGlaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, and although early detection, diagnosis and treatment can halt vision loss caused by glaucoma, about 10 percent of people with glaucoma who receive treatment still experience vision loss.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which in most cases produce increased pressure within the eye. This elevated pressure is caused by a backup of fluid in the eye. Over time, it causes damage to the optic nerve.

There is not yet a cure for glaucoma, and the disease can affect anyone. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, over 3 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of those are aware they have it. In the U.S. more than 120,000 are blind as a result of the disease, which accounts for 9-12 percent of all cases of blindness, and 19 percent of cases among African Americans compared to 6 percent in Caucasians.

The best way to protect your vision from glaucoma is to get tested! Equal Access Clinic offers free eye exams on the last Tuesday of every month from 5:30-8:30 PM at UF HealthStreet. To make an appointment, call (352) 580 0393.