January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is a disease characterized by gradual loss of vision and is difficult to detect. There may be no early warning signs but it can be discovered during a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and health care providers at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics encourage everyone, particularly those in high-risk groups, to have a comprehensive eye exam. Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but if diagnosed and treated early it can be controlled.

High-risk groups include: African-Americans over age 40; everyone over age 60, especially Mexican-Americans; those with a family history of the disease; and siblings of those diagnosed with glaucoma.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma has caused blindness in approximately 120,000 people in the United States, accounting for 9 to 12 percent of all cases of blindness.

More than 2.2 million Americans and more than 60 million people worldwide have glaucoma.

For more information on glaucoma and services available at the UI Hospitals and Clinics Glaucoma Clinic, visit www.uihealthcare.org/glaucoma.