Routine Screening For Glaucoma Can Save Your Sight

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Story Updated: Jan 30, 2014

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States, but if it's detected and treated early, optic nerve damage can be prevented.

Carole Prouty is over 40 with both hypertension and diabetes.

She has a family history of glaucoma.

All are risk factors making an annual glaucoma screening exams very important. 

Other risk factors include being of African American descent, having elevated eye pressure or a past eye injury.

"Glaucoma is a set of diseases that damages the optic nerve and it's usually associated with high eye pressure, but not in all cases," said Watertown ophthalmologist Dr. David Ewing-Chow.

A complete eye exam, which includes eye pressure testing, is very important because once there are symptoms, there could already be irreversible damage.

Glaucoma is treated with eye drops, laser or surgery.

"The majority of cases we lower the eye pressure and control risk factors such as systemic diseases, which helps to decrease the progression of glaucoma," said Dr. Ewing-Chow.

Carole got good news - her eye pressure was clinically normal and her optic nerve looked healthy..

If you're over 40 or over 30 with risk factors, don't delay.

See an eye doctor and be tested for glaucoma. 

This foresight could save your sight. 

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