Glaucoma checks urged; 2nd leading cause of blindness

| February 14, 2014 | 0 Comments
Photo courtesy Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs HONOLULU — Dr. Marion Ewan, Tripler Army Medical Center Optometry Clinic, screens Charity Del Rosario for myopia during an eye examination at TAMC, here, recently.

Photo courtesy Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs
HONOLULU — Dr. Marion Ewan, Tripler Army Medical Center Optometry Clinic, screens Charity Del Rosario for myopia during an eye examination at TAMC, here, recently.

 

Katherine Rosario
Lyster Army Health Clinic
Public Affairs

FORT RUCKER, Ala. — Nearly 2.7 million people live with glaucoma, an eye disease that limits vision and can often leave a person blind.

Those numbers, according to the National Eye Institute, are expected to rise to a projected 6.3 million in 2050.

As the second leading cause of blindness, behind cataracts, glaucoma can occur under normal or elevated fluid pressure in the eyes. The disease can be treated through eye drops and even surgery. Taking preventive measures, such as having regular eye exams, can help catch the disease early before it affects a person’s vision.

“Adults ages 40 and above, minorities and those with a family history of glaucoma or diabetes are most at risk for the disease,” said Capt. Bret Lehman, optometrist at Lyster Army Health Clinic, here.

A comprehensive eye exam should be done every one to two years, he said.

“Risk factors for glaucoma include age, family history, hypertension, diabetes and race,” Lehman said. “The risk of developing glaucoma is four to five times greater among African-Americans.”

An optometry clinic staff can evaluate eye health and detect chronic and suspect diseases, such as glaucoma and other eye diseases related to diabetes and hypertension, he said.

“Although glaucoma cannot be prevented, it can be treated and controlled if diagnosed early,” he said. “Treatment usually begins with eye drops and follow-up eye exams to determine the severity of the disease.”

Tripler Army Medical Center
Patients can schedule an appointment with Tripler Optometry by calling 433-8462.

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Category: Community, Health

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