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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month
Date:1/19/2010

Summit Medical Group Offers Information on Glaucoma Risks, Screening and Treatment

Berkeley Heights, NJ (Vocus) January 19, 2010 -- During Glaucoma Awareness Month, Summit Medical Group wants to help people understand its risks, screening and treatment. Glaucoma is a degenerative disease of the eyes that causes vision loss. Because there often are no symptoms in its early stages, many people do not know they have it.

Risk
Glaucoma can affect people of all ages and races; however, certain people are at higher risk for it than others. For example, it is more common in people age 60 years or more. In addition, people of African and Hispanic descent have higher rates of glaucoma and associated blindness than those of other ethnic backgrounds. Researchers are unsure why the disease is more common in certain people, but they believe genetics has a role in who gets the disease. Level of care also is associated with its severity and how quickly it progresses.

Other risk factors for glaucoma include:

 
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Elevated pressure in the eye(s)
  • Family history
  • High blood pressure
  • Injury to the eye(s)
  • Nearsightedness
  • Low central cornea thickness (less than .5 mm)
  • Obesity
  • Steroid use
Screening
“Detecting glaucoma early is critical for keeping the disease from getting worse," notes ophthalmologist Eric B. Gurwin, MD, of Summit Medical Group. “We recommend that people be screened every 1 to 2 years to ensure the health of their eyes. This frequency of
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