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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

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.