Navigation Links
International Survey Shows People Over Forty Ignore Risk of Blindness

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 Foundation. "People over the age of 40 need to make eye health a priority by having a complete eye examination every two years to ensure detection of glaucoma before any vision loss is experienced."

Less than half surveyed have undergone an eye pressure check. This proportion did not increase in the older age groups, even though the risk of glaucoma increases with age. This was in contrast to blood pressure, where more respondents discussed blood pressure with their physician in the older age groups.

"Accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment of glaucoma can prevent damage to the optic nerve and preserve healthy vision, which is why check-ups are so important," said Professor Roger Hitchings, Professor of Ophthalmology, University College London and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Moorfields Eye Hospital. "Everyone should proactively assess their risk of glaucoma with an eye specialist. A complete eye exam for glaucoma will include an eye pressure check, an optic nerve assessment and visual field examination."

All Eyes on Glaucoma Resources

One of the key components of the All Eyes on Glaucoma initiative is a new, informative website,, where people can learn the proper steps to protect their vision, including the completion of an "Am I At Risk?" questionnaire and download tools including the "Conversation Starter" which can be taken to their eye specialist. Visitors will also be directed to local glaucoma organizations in their area for questions and support services.

About the International Survey

A multi-country survey of individuals aged 40 and above was conducted by the GfK Group. The survey included 4,352 people (2,020 males and 2,332 females) in seven countries including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Notes to Editors:

About Glaucoma:

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases. The two most common forms are:

- Open-angle glaucoma - when the pressure in the eye increases over time due to poor drainage of the aqueous humour.

- Angle-closure glaucoma - when the iris is too close to the drainage canal (trabecular meshwork).

Anyone can develop glaucoma, but the risk becomes greater as you age. People who are more likely to develop it:

- Have high eye pressure(5)

- Are markedly nearsighted(5)

- Have a family history of glaucoma(5)

- Are of African descent (open-angle glaucoma)(5)

- Are of Asian descent (angle-closure glaucoma)(1)

- Have high blood pressure(6)

The only modifiable glaucoma risk factor is high eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP). This is the leading cause of glaucoma, although it is possible to develop the condition without it. Due to the build-up of natural fluid produced by the eye, high eye pressure causes permanent damage to the optic nerve, the "cable" used by the eye to communicate to the brain.(7) High eye pressure may exist without noticeable symptoms so many people do not know they have it if their vision is not checked regularly.(8) In fact, people may not notice vision loss until 40 percent or more of their optic nerve has been damaged.8 IOP is an easily identifiable risk factor, however people who fall within the normal IOP range may still be at risk for glaucoma.

About the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association

Both the WGA and WGPA exist to better the lives of glaucoma patients around the world. The WGA attempts to optimize the quality of glaucoma science and care through communication and cooperation among national and regional Glaucoma Societies, with companies involved with glaucoma, glaucoma patient organizations and many others in the glaucoma community, and by the enhancement of glaucoma management by ophthalmologists around the world. The WGPA works globally to encourage the establishment of and cooperation among national Glaucoma Patient Associations worldwide. The group serves as an umbrella organization to provide useful information to individuals, health care providers and support groups that are devoting their efforts to the fight against glaucoma.

About Pfizer Ophthalmics

Pfizer Ophthalmics, a division of Pfizer Inc, is committed to preserving sight and eliminating preventable blindness. Pfizer Ophthalmics discovers, develops and provides leading treatments in ophthalmology to support patients who are at risk of blindness or suffering from vision impairment, and to serve the health care professionals who treat them.

(1). World Health Organization. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. In Focus, Nov. 1 2004

(2). Congdon NG, Friedman DS, Lietman T. Important Causes of Visual Impairment in the World Today. JAMA. 2003; 290: 2057-2060.

(3). Quigley HA, Broman AT. The number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020. Br J Ophthalmol 2006; 90: 262-267

(4). Lee PP, Walt JG, Doyle JJ et al. A multicenter, retrospective pilot study of resource use and costs associated with severity of disease in glaucoma. Arch Ophthalmol 2006; 124(1): 12-19

(5). The Glaucoma Foundation. Who's At Risk? Available at: Accessed on August 24, 2007.

(6). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Guarding Against Glaucoma. Available at: Accessed on August 24, 2007.

(7). The Glaucoma Foundation. About Glaucoma. Available at: Accessed on August 24, 2007.

(8). Distelhorts JS, Hughes GM. Open angle glaucoma. American Family Physician. 2003; 67(9): 1937-1944

SOURCE All Eyes on Glaucoma(TM) Campaign
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. Olympics of biotechnology has international flavor
2. Traffic data firm navigates international business
3. Catalyst International profit exceeds expectations
4. Lack of broadband hamstrings international videoconferencing
5. 30 days to success: Three simple steps to create your own international startup
6. TEKLYNX International announces new RFID software
7. Ruling enforces international trademark electronic filing requirements
8. Eleftheriou to lead Catalyst International
9. Internet trademark war goes international
10. International eyes drawn to Madisons games research
11. Plexus and SRI International team up to offer medical product development
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/8/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. (OTCQB: REPCF) (TSX.V: RP), ... development of autologous cell therapies, today announced its schedule of ... in the month of October: Stem Cell ... will be presenting at the annual Partnering Forum, part ... be held October 7-9 in La Jolla, ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... October 08, 2015 , ... Cystic fibrosis (CF) is ... (CFTR) gene and results in dysfunction of the lungs and the gastrointestinal (GI) ... This mucus is very difficult to clear, blocks the airways and the glands, ...
(Date:10/7/2015)...  ChromaDex Corp. (OTCQX: CDXC), an innovator of ... science-based solutions for dietary supplement, food and beverage, ... announced that the October 1 presentation from ... available for on-demand viewing at ...   --> LINK: ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... Md. , Oct. 7, 2015   Intrexon ... synthetic biology, today announced it will hold an Investor ... on the afternoon of Thursday, November 12, 2015. Intrexon,s ... and other members of the Company,s management team ... including a focus on strategic initiatives, product pipeline, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
... Merrimack Pharmaceuticals today announced that it will present at the Jefferies 2010 Global Life Sciences Conference ... provide a company overview at 11:00am EDT , Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at ... , , ... , , , ...
... June 1 Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, the ... launch of Navigator Health Services, an independent division of ... pharmacy industry. The announcement was made by Diplomat Specialty ... who says that Navigator Health Services was formed in ...
... Calif. , June 1 Epeius Biotechnologies Corporation ( ... "Advanced Phase I/II Evaluation of Tumor-Targeted Gene Delivery: Intravenous Rexin-G as ... the ASCO Annual Meeting on June 8, 2010 . The ... Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto CA. ...
Cached Biology Technology:
(Date:9/10/2015)... , Sept. 10, 2015 Pursuant ... Clinic Wellness to create an interactive, image-based health ... health and wellness kiosk.  The unique assessment quantifies ... a number that suggests an individual,s biological age ... values as measured by the kiosk. ...
(Date:9/8/2015)... , Sept. 8, 2015   TREW Marketing ... the new survey, Smart Marketing for Engineers TM ... 580 engineering professionals reveals insightful findings about engineers, preferences ... types of content engineers most value and trust, and ... Marketers targeting technical audiences grapple with how to ...
(Date:9/2/2015)... YORK , Sept. 2, 2015 ... key concern for enterprises, banks, government organizations, telecommunications, ... and numeric keypads were previously being used to ... introduction of two-factor authentication, wherein individuals could gain ... two different components, such as hardware devices and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
... and going to work is hard enough every day. But ... of your job down the smallest detail and the ... of credentials might mean starting from scratch. These are the ... make U.S. homes more energy efficient. A recent collaboration ...
... called ADAP (adhesion and degranulation-promoting adaptor protein) is able ... new University of Cambridge research reveals. The researchers, who ... discovery will lead to new ways of combatting HIV. ... who led the research, said: "One exciting aspect about ...
... Oct. 1, 2013  Pfenex Inc. today announced that the ... Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), has modified ... with the existing Pfenex contractual relationship begun in July, ... funding to support the development of a next generation ...
Cached Biology News:
Request Info...
... digests duplex DNA in a 3'-> 5' ... nick, producing stretches of single-stranded DNA. Under ... III proceeds at a uniform rate yielding ... of exonucleolytic excision of deoxyribonucleotides by Exonuclease ...
Mouse monoclonal [HL-37] to HLA DQ1 + HLA DQ3 ( Abpromise for all tested applications)....
Biology Products: