News Releases

March 9, 2018
Media contact: Leigh DeLozier, 404-778-3711

Emory Eye Center to Help Educate the Public About Glaucoma

March 11-17, 2018, is World Glaucoma Week and the perfect time to learn more about this potentially blinding condition and how early detection can make a difference.

 

Glaucoma Emory Eye Center is partnering with Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation to share this message with people on the Emory University Hospital campus at different times during the week. Both groups will have information about glaucoma, early detection, and possible treatment options.

When a person has glaucoma, normal fluid pressure inside the eye slowly rises, damaging the optic nerve that’s responsible for transmitting images to the brain. If the elevated eye pressure continues, glaucoma will worsen one’s vision. Without treatment, it can cause blindness within a few years.

The good news is, glaucoma is treatable. In addition, the risk of blindness from glaucoma decreases when the condition is diagnosed and treated early.

Signs of Glaucoma

More than 3 million Americans – and more than 60 million people worldwide – have glaucoma, yet many don’t realize they have it. That’s because most people with glaucoma don’t have any pain or notice their initial vision loss.

Physicians diagnose glaucoma by combining an eye pressure test with a comprehensive eye exam that includes dilation. Patients with suspected glaucoma will also have a visual field test and an evaluation of the optic nerve. Having these tests on a regular basis can help detect glaucoma in its early stages before vision loss occurs.

Glaucoma can affect anyone, but people at higher risk include:

• African Americans age 40 and older

• Adults over age 60, especially Hispanics or Latinos

• Those who have a family history of the disease.

As glaucoma progresses, symptoms might include a loss of peripheral vision, difficulty focusing on objects, seeing halos around lights, or blurred vision.

Glaucoma Treatment Options

Early detection and treatment of glaucoma gives patients the best chance to maintain good vision. Damage cannot be reversed, but treatments can help slow or stop future vision loss. Glaucoma treatment can include eye drops to either reduce the formation of fluid in the eye or to increase its outflow, laser surgery, or microsurgery. An ophthalmologist can help determine a patient’s best treatment option.

 

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The Emory Eye Center is the largest, most comprehensive eye care facility in Georgia, serving patients for more than 145 years. Ophthalmologists, optometrists, and other eye care professionals treat individuals of all ages who need care ranging from annual vision exams to treatment of complex vision disorders. Our physicians also help train the ophthalmologists of tomorrow through residency and fellowship programs that are recognized as some of the best in the country. Scientists at Emory Eye Center are researching the causes of and improved treatments for macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, genetic eye diseases and more.

 

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