MUSC The Catalyst
MUSC arial view


MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsCatalyst PDF FileMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause

MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Eye disease may be prevented

by Carolyn C. Cavanaugh, R.N.
MUSC Storm Eye Institute
Have you ever heard your parents say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” That thought echoes in my mind as I consider how the complications of some eye diseases, such as glaucoma, could be prevented or at least slowed down with a simple action.
January marks national Awareness of Glaucoma month. Glaucoma is an eye disease that can result in blindness if not detected and treated early, and is one of the leading causes of blindness affecting more than 2 million people in the United States. Half of this number do not know they have the disease.
Glaucoma has no symptoms at first; nothing that suggests the disease is progressing. When sight is being lost, it is being reduced from the side or peripheral first. Since that vision is not as detailed as our central vision, it is not noticed initially.

Prevention can keep eyes healthy
  • Get an eye exam at least once every two years if you are in the high-risk group for glaucoma. Often glaucoma is detected during a regular eye exam.
  • Glaucoma can be treated with medications, a laser and surgery. The earlier it is detected and treated, the better chance for retention of vision.
  • Those considered high risk are African- Americans 40 years and older; other demographics 60 years and older, especially Hispanic and Asian populations; and those who have a family member with glaucoma.
For more information about glaucoma, stop by the Health 1st Wellness Wednesday table on the first floor of Children’s Hospital near the gift shop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Brochures and more information are available.

Friday, Jan. 29, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.