The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More and More African Americans Are Being Diagnosed With Glaucoma

African Americans With Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects the optic nerve. It is caused by pressure from buildup of eye fluid that causes damage to the optic nerve. If glaucoma goes untreated, it can lead to blindness.

Who can get Glaucoma?

More than 2.7 million Americans aged 40 and older are affected by glaucoma. African Americans have the highest rates of glaucoma among minority groups. According to National Eye Institute, more than 520,000 African Americans have glaucoma, and the number is expected to increase 66 percent by 2030 to 865,000. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans.

Symptoms

Glaucoma has no symptoms during the early stages, so many people who are developing the disease are not even aware that they have it. As the disease progresses, however, peripheral or side vision may begin to decrease. Eventually, all vision will begin to narrow and eventually lead to blindness.

How can Glaucoma be prevented?

Although glaucoma can affect anyone over 40, African Americans age 40 or older and everyone over the age of 60 should be checked regularly for glaucoma. A glaucoma exam consists of a dilation of the eye that widens the center of the eye, enabling the eye doctor to see clearly to the back of the eye. The dilation is produced by simply putting eye drops in the eye. For people who have a family history of eye disease, people over 60, and African Americans over 40, this test should be included in eye exams every 1-2 years.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.



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