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Stealing Sight

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month and Drexel Eye Physicians wants to help you better understand the disease and the options you have for treatment. In the U.S., more than two million people have glaucoma and only half of them know it.

The best way to protect sight from glaucoma is to get a comprehensive eye examination.At Higher Risk

Those at higher risk include people of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent. Other high-risk groups include:

  • People over 60
  • Family members of those already diagnosed
  • Diabetics
  • People who have a history of trauma to the eye or head

There are many different kinds of glaucoma. In general, near sighted people get a different type than far-sighted people. Glaucoma can be inherited, and some patients are born with glaucoma, but most develop it more slowly with age. However, African-Americans are particularly susceptible at a younger age.

"By the time I see most patients, they have lost more than half of their vision, but they are totally unaware there is a problem," said Amanda Lehman, M.D., chief of glaucoma services at Drexel Eye Physicians. "That's because glaucoma affects your peripheral, or 'side' vision, unlike macular degeneration, which is a disease of your retina and causes central vision loss. The best advice I can give people is to get tested. Too often, I have patients say they were told they might have glaucoma, but then they changed jobs, or moved, or just forgot to make a follow up appointment. Don't wait until it's too late."

Detection

The best way to protect sight from glaucoma is to get a comprehensive eye examination. Then, if glaucoma is diagnosed, treatment can begin immediately.

Treatment

There is no cure for glaucoma, but medication or surgery can slow the disease or prevent further vision loss. The treatment depends on the type of glaucoma that is diagnosed, among other factors. Early detection and regular follow up with a glaucoma specialist are the best ways to prevent permanent blindness.

Drexel Eye Physicians

Drexel Eye Physicians provide outstanding eye care and utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic and testing equipment, while adhering to the highest standards of patient care.

In addition to general eye care and glaucoma, Drexel Eye Physicians also specializes in cataract surgery, cornea and external disease, retina and vitreous care, oculoplastic surgery and contact lens evaluations. Modern laser technology is available for the most difficult surgical procedures.

To make an appointment, please call 1-866-DREXEL-2.



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