Glaucoma Awareness Month in Baltimore

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Glaucoma Awareness Month in Baltimore

The eye doctors and staff at Baltimore Washington Eye Center want to focus patient’s attention on Glaucoma this month as January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. “This is an important time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease. Our understanding of this disease along with the ways in which we can diagnose and treat it have improved considerably,” commented Baltimore Ophthalmologist Arturo Betancourt, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness overall. Of particular note is that Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.
Over 4 million Americans, and nearly 70 million people worldwide, have Glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision.
The most common type of Glaucoma—Primary Open Angle Glaucoma—is hereditary. The Nottingham Glaucoma Study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology evaluated the risk that siblings of Glaucoma patients would themselves develop Glaucoma within their lifetime. “ While we already knew that there was a strong likelihood that family members of Glaucoma patients were at greater risk, the Nottingham Study found that siblings were 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma by age 70. This is why we strongly recommend that siblings of Glaucoma patients and Glaucoma suspects be screened for Glaucoma, each and every year,” said Dr. Betancourt.

If you, a relative or someone you know is at risk for Glaucoma based on their age, heredity or health please tell them to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937 to schedule an eye exam and Glaucoma screening. Early diagnosis and treatment goes a long way to preserving eye health and vision.