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Announcements: National Glaucoma Awareness Month --- January 2010

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is a group of disorders that damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss (1). According to the National Eye Institute, glaucoma affects approximately 4 million people in the United States, and nearly half of those with glaucoma are not aware that they have the disease (2).

Persons aged >60 years (especially Mexican Americans) have an increased risk for developing glaucoma, as do African Americans aged >40 years, persons with a family history of glaucoma, and persons with diabetes (2). Glaucoma can be detected with a comprehensive dilated eye examination. Early detection and treatment can prevent or control vision loss (2).

Information on CDC's Vision Health Initiative and strategies for prevention and control of common eye diseases is available at http://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth. Additional information about glaucoma is available at http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma.

References

  1. The Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group. Prevalence of open-angle glaucoma among adults in the United States. Arch Ophthalmol 2004;122:532--8.
  2. National Eye Institute. Protecting your vision against glaucoma. Bethesda, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute; 2009. Available at http://www.nei.nih.gov/news/briefs/glaucoma_awareness.asp. Accessed January 7, 2010.

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