Despite glaucoma seeming to pick victims at random, it has some preferences. Who comprises this at-risk group? Let's figure it out!
GLAUCOMA: YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT IT
Glaucoma chooses victims rather randomly, although it has its preferences. Here are three reasons why you should read further:
1. Half of people with glaucoma do not suspect that they have it. 2. Without treatment, glaucoma leads to blindness. 3. Of those receiving treatment, 10% will still lose their eyesight. Although, it can be avoided if they seek help earlier.
If you conduct a survey among passers-by, half would not know what glaucoma is, and those who know the word rarely can explain it. Someone might even guess that Glaucoma is a South American country.
OTHER KEY FACTS
1. Is it possible to get rid of? This disease is still incurable. But you can successfully control it, which we do at BEI. Vision lost due to glaucoma cannot be restored, but it is possible to STOP further vision loss. Diagnosis is the first step.
2. Who is at risk for glaucoma? Short answer: Everyone. Both old and young. Elderly people have a higher risk, but babies can be born with glaucoma (1 in 10,000 in the US). Young people can also get it. African Americans are susceptible at a younger age.
3. Are there always symptoms? With an open-angle (the most “popular”) glaucoma, there are almost no symptoms. Loss of vision begins peripherally, but people unknowingly compensate for this by turning their heads to the side. Thus, you may not notice anything special until you have suffered heavy losses.
GLAUCOMA: SOME STATISTICS
More than 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma, but only half of them are aware.
In the United States, more than 120,000 people become blind as a result of glaucoma, representing 9% -12% of all cases of blindness.
According to the WHO, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.
Glaucoma blindness is found in African Americans 6-8 times more often than in white Americans.
People with diabetes are twice more likely to get glaucoma than people without it.
High risk zone: people over 60 years of age and family members of those who have already been diagnosed, as well as those suffering from high myopia.
There are over 60 million people with glaucoma around the world.
74% of 1,000 Americans surveyed have their eyes checked at least once every two years. You are in the minority, aren’t you?
Only 61% of them dilate the pupils (the most effective way to detect glaucoma).
WHAT THEY KNOW
50% of respondents have heard of glaucoma, but were not sure what it was.
30% have never heard of glaucoma.
20% of people are aware that glaucoma is associated with increased pressure in the eye. But! Most of them believe that there are always symptoms, or that glaucoma is easy to cure, or that it does not lead to blindness. Or, strictly speaking, they do not know anything.
WHAT DO PEOPLE FEAR
It would seem that this is something archaic. Well, how often do we see a person wearing dark glasses and carrying a stick? However, according to one survey, blindness takes 3rd place (after cancer and heart disease) among our main fears regarding diseases.
Even if you believe that you see well, it does not mean that you see well.
Photo by Fred Kearney/Unsplash