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    Prevent Blindness declares January National Glaucoma Awareness Month

    Chicago—Prevent Blindness and other eye health organizations have declared January as National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Prevent Blindness seeks to educate the public on the second leading cause of blindness, following cataracts, by providing free resources via online or by mail through its Glaucoma Learning Center.

    Glaucoma risk factors include:

    • Age. Those who are 40 and older are more likely to develop glaucoma. The older you are, the greater your risk.

    • Race. People of African or Afro-Caribbean heritage are more likely to develop glaucoma than the rest of the population. They are also more likely to develop glaucoma at a younger age.  

    • Family history. If you have a parent or sibling who has glaucoma, you are more likely to develop the disease.

    • Diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher risk (40 percent) of developing glaucoma.

    • Myopia. People who are very myopic are at greater risk.

    • Eye injury or surgery. Those who have had eye surgery or eye injuries may develop secondary glaucoma.

    • Steroid medication. Steroids may increase the risk of glaucoma when used for extended periods of time. 

    Prevent Blindness has recently put together free fact sheets for your patients to help answer common questions about health insurance, Medicare coverage for glaucoma, the Affordable Care Act, and eye care.

    According to the 2013 Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States report, glaucoma and disorders of the optic nerve annually cost $5.8 billion, with an annual per-person treatment cost of $2,170. 

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