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Prevalence of glaucoma in U.S. has increased over last decade

Researchers from Prevent Blindness America and the U.S. National Eye Institute reported that the prevalence of glaucoma in the United States has increased by 22% over the last 10 years. 2.7 million Americans aged 40 and older are affected by glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve and can gradually lead to blindness. Because the symptoms develop slowly, many people are unaware of their illness. In fact, the researchers found that more than 50% of those with glaucoma do not know that they have the condition. Those at risk for glaucoma include older individuals and those with a family history of the disease. Those who are black, use steroids, and are nearsighted or have experienced eye trauma are at risk as well. As a result, actions have been taken to try and increase awareness and education about glaucoma. Prevent Blindness America and other leading eye health organizations have joined together to declare January as National Glaucoma Awareness Month. By encouraging people to get eye exams, glaucoma can be detected in its early stages and treatment can prevent vision loss.*

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