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International Survey Shows People Over Forty Ignore Risk of Blindness
Date:10/2/2007

LONDON, October 2 /PRNewswire/ --

- Global Advocacy Groups Launch Joint Effort to Preserve Eyesight of Millions At-Risk for Glaucoma

Results of a new international survey reveal that eye exams are being ignored by many aged over 40. Only two fifths of respondents had visited an eye specialist in the last year to have their eyes checked, even though twice as many people feared going blind compared to heart disease or early death. The survey showed that awareness of glaucoma was extremely low. A total of 40 percent of people surveyed were unaware that glaucoma is linked to blindness, even though it is the second leading cause of blindness. World wide, approximately 6.7 million people are blind from glaucoma, with almost 70 million affected by the disease.(1),(2)

The survey was launched today as part of the All Eyes on Glaucoma(TM) campaign, a global initiative sponsored by Pfizer Ophthalmics and supported by the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) and the World Glaucoma Patient Association (WGPA) to educate people over age 40 on how to preserve their vision and recognize their risk of developing glaucoma. There are a number of types of glaucoma, the majority of which have high eye pressure and cause vision loss. They cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve and the eye damage develops over many years. Lowering eye pressure can prevent or slow the progression of glaucoma. Treatments are available to decrease eye pressure.

By 2020, the number of people with glaucoma is expected to rise to 80 million due to the rapidly growing aging population.(3) The earlier glaucoma is detected, the greater the potential of limiting the economic impact of the disease by using appropriate treatment.(4)

"Glaucoma is not just a disease of the elderly. Now is the time to change the public mindset about glaucoma," said Scott Christensen, President of the World Glaucoma Patient Association and President and Chief Executive Officer of The Glaucoma Foundat
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SOURCE All Eyes on Glaucoma(TM) Campaign
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