World Glaucoma Week 2014: March 9-15
World Glaucoma Week will be celebrated March 9th to the 15th, 2014 and is an opportune time to educate the public regarding Glaucoma; especially Latinos as Open Angle Glaucoma is much likely to afflict Latinos than any other ethnic group.
Glaucoma is also the leading cause of blindness in Latinos. Since Glaucoma presents no symptoms, it is often estimated that half of patients with Glaucoma are not aware that they have the disease.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that when left untreated cause permanent damage to the optic nerve leading to total blindness. Fortunately, Glaucoma can be diagnosed by an optometric physician during an eye examination.
Tests to diagnosed Glaucoma are pain free and are performed in the office; the tests include dilation of the pupil, measuring the IntraOcular Pressure (pressure inside the eye), Visual Fields test (side vision), Gonioscopy (examining the anterior part of the eye), and pachymetry (corneal thickness measure). Other specialized testing includes imaging of the optic nerve (GDx, OCT, HRT) and electro physiologic testing such as Visual Evoke Potential and Electroretinography (ERG).
Overall, patients at a greater risk of developing Glaucoma are those over the age of 60, patients from certain racial ancestry, including Latinos, African American and those of Asian descent, people with relatives who have had Glaucoma, people with Diabetes, those who have suffered eye injury, those taking any form of corticosteroids, women taking oral contraceptives for more than 3 years and those who are very nearsighted or very farsighted.
Fortunately when diagnosed early, Glaucoma can be successfully managed to preserve vision; usually with eye drops and/or with laser surgery or conventional surgery. An optometric physician can diagnose Glaucoma and advice on the best course of treatment.
Find more information about Glaucoma on Eyecare.org: