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article imageGlaucoma awareness month

By Tim Sandle     Jan 12, 2014 in Health
In the U.S., January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. During the month a range of different events are being hosted and health promotion schemes implemented.
Glaucoma is a term that describes a group of eye conditions that affect vision. Glaucoma often affects both eyes, usually in varying degrees. One eye may develop glaucoma quicker than the other.
Glaucoma can be roughly divided into two main categories, "open-angle" and "closed-angle" (or "angle closure") glaucoma. The angle refers to the area between the iris and cornea, through which fluid must flow to escape via the trabecular meshwork. Closed-angle glaucoma can appear suddenly and is often painful; visual loss can progress quickly, but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs. Open-angle, chronic glaucoma tends to progress at a slower rate and patients may not notice they have lost vision until the disease has progressed significantly.
During January in the U.S. a series of events and promotions are being held to raise awareness about glaucoma. The U.S. National Eye Institute estimates that more than four million people in the United States have glaucoma,
As an example of the initiatives, the BrightFocus Foundation is offering free resources in English and Spanish to encourage comprehensive, dilated-pupil eye exams every one to two years for those at higher risk for this disease. That includes individuals with a family history of glaucoma, persons over the age of 60—particularly Hispanics—and African Americans over age 40.
The BrightFocus Foundation, formerly known as the American Health Assistance Foundation, is a nonprofit organization that supports research and provides public education on brain and eye diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
The Glaucoma Research Foundation has also developed a special information booklet. The Glaucoma Research Foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma. Founded in 1978 in San Francisco, we fund glaucoma research world-wide.
The increased level of promotion throughout January should raise awareness of the condition across the U.S. and in other parts of the world.
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