|Free glaucoma screening to be offered Jan. 15
by Carolyn C. Cavanaugh, R.N.
Patient Educator, MUSC Storm Eye Institute
In many instances, so much can be done to keep eyes healthy by early
detection and early treatment of eye diseases—and glaucoma is one of
those diseases. As one of the leading causes of blindness in the U. S.,
approximately 2.3 million people are known to be affected by glaucoma,
while half of this number do not even know they have the disease.
To raise awareness of preventable blindness from glaucoma, the MUSC
Storm Eye Institute is offering a free glaucoma screening for those in
the high risk group on Jan. 15 by appointment. To make an appointment
for the screening, call MUSC Health Connection at 792-1414.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that affect the optic nerve. In the
most common type the fluid that flows and nourishes the inside front
structures of the eye does not drain as well as it should. The
resultant eye pressure damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries
all the messages of what our eye is seeing to the brain. There are also
other types of glaucoma, such as normal tension glaucoma, closed angle
glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, and congenital glaucoma.
The high risk group for glaucoma are African-Americans (older than 40
years of age); aging population (60 and up) especially of Spanish and
Asian descent; and family members with glaucoma.
The high risk group should have eye exams at least every two years.
If you do have glaucoma, it is important to remember to take your eye
drops as directed, and not miss doses. If you are in the high risk
group, take advantage of the screening and make an appointment.
Friday, Jan. 8, 2010