January Is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

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CHICAGO—In anticipation of National Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, Prevent Blindness, the nation's oldest volunteer eye health and safety nonprofit organization, announced that it is working with other eye health groups to educate the public about the disease, which today affects nearly 3 million people ages 40 and older. In support of Glaucoma Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness has partnered with Santen Inc. a U.S. subsidiary of Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a global company focused exclusively on ophthalmology, on an educational campaign to raise awareness of this disease.

“Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for glaucoma,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “However, promising new treatment research is underway. Through early detection, access to care, and by diligently following your eye doctor’s treatment plan, progressive vision loss from glaucoma can be significantly lessened.”

Prevent Blindness offers a dedicated web page providing patients and their caregivers with additional free information at https://www.preventblindness.org/glaucoma. According to the Prevent Blindness report, “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems," the numbers for those with glaucoma are projected to increase steadily as more baby boomers move into retirement. In the early stages, glaucoma has no symptoms, no noticeable vision loss or pain, which is why it is called the “sneak thief of sight.” By the time symptoms start to appear, some permanent damage to the eye has usually occurred. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeCare America program provides eye care at no out-of-pocket cost to medically underserved seniors age 65 and older, and glaucoma exams to those at increased risk. For more information, visit https://www.aao.org/eyecare-america.