January is Glaucoma Awareness month, and a timely study published in this month’s Opthalmology journal gives some promising new findings - even as the number of people diagnosed with glaucoma stayed steady from 1965 until 2000, the risk of blindness from glaucoma in the study population dropped by almost half. Researchers pointed to many possible reasons for this encouraging trend; for example, better treatments and greater understanding of the disease.
Another important factor identified in the study was that the younger the patient was at the time of glaucoma diagnosis, the less likely they were to develop blindness. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to managing glaucoma, and a greater awareness of the importance of routine eye exams may also have contributed to the decrease in glaucoma-related blindness. The American Optometric Association currently recommends adults from ages 18 to 60 obtain complete eye exams with dilation at least every 2 years, and every year over the age of 60. Schedule your appointment with an OPTYX doctor of optometry today at www.optyx.com.
American Optometric Association. “Comprehensive Adult Eye and Vision Examination: Optometric Clinical Practice Guideline”. 2nd ed. 2005.
HealthDay News. “Risk of Glaucoma Blindness Drops by Half: Study”. 1/24/2014. Accessed online at consumer.healthday.com.
Malihi, Mehrdad et al. Long Term Trends in Glaucoma-Related Blindness in Olmstead County, Minnesota. Ophthalmology: 121.1 (134-141). January 2014.