January 2023 Is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma And What You Need To Know

Glaucoma is a condition where fluid inside the eye builds up, leading to excessive pressure that damages the optic nerve which is vital for good vision. The abnormally high pressure causes eye damage. This damage to the optic nerve is one of the leading causes of blindness for people aged 60 and over. Usually, there are no warning signs for many forms of glaucoma. The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage. The CDC believes that there are three million Americans that have Glaucoma.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of global blindness followed by cataracts which is the leading cause of universal vision loss. Glaucoma causes are increasing and it is irreversible. The number of cases in 2020 worldwide was approximately 80 million and the projection for 2040 is approximately 111 million worldwide. Green is the color for Glaucoma Awareness Month. In our first article for January 2023, we briefly spoke about Glaucoma. In this article, we will provide more insights into this important topic which is Glaucoma Awareness Month, January 2023.

Critical Facts About Glaucoma:

  • It is known that Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States that is irreversible.
  • Blindness or low vision affects 3.3 million Americans age 40 and over.
  • There are type types: Open-Angle and Acute Angle Glaucoma
  • 40 and older—are affected by its most common form, Open-Angle Glaucoma.
  • In 2020, about 80 million people had glaucoma worldwide, and this number will increase to over 111 million by 2040.
  • Globally Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG) is the most common type of Glaucoma accounting for three-quarters (74%) of all Glaucoma cases.
  • The global incidence of Glaucoma is increasing due in part to the rapidly aging global population.
  • African Americans will experience Open-Angle Glaucoma three to four times more than non-Hispanic Whites.
  • African Americans are fifteen times more likely to experience blindness than Caucasians due to Glaucoma
  • Glaucoma occurrence rises rapidly in Hispanics over age 65.

Potential Treatments

Topical medications are the go-to first-line treatment for glaucoma among optometrists and ophthalmologists, for both optometrists and ophthalmologists. SALT (Short-Term Anti-inflammatory Treatments) is the most popular second-line treatment for glaucoma. Prescription eye drops are used frequently for treatment. The eye drops lower the pressure in your eye and prevents damage to the optic nerve. Also, doctors can use laser treatment to lower your eye pressure and to help the fluid drain out of your eye.

  • Topical Medications
    • Latanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution
    • Pilocarpine (Direct-acting muscarinic receptor agonist; increases trabecular outflow
    • Timolol (Non-selective beta receptor blocker (β1 and β2); decreases aqueous production) atanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution
    • Pilocarpine (Direct-acting muscarinic receptor agonist; increases trabecular outflow


Financial Impact:

  • The impact of Glaucoma on the U.S. economy is approximately $2.86 billion every year in direct costs and productivity losses.
  • Glaucoma accounts for more than 10 million visits to physicians each year. The average direct cost of glaucoma treatment ranges from $623 per year for patients with early-stage glaucoma to $2,511 per year for patients with the end-stage disease (Source: Glaucomatoday).

Risk Factors:

Open-Angle strong risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • High eye pressure
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Age 40 and older for African Americans
  • Age 60 and older for the general population, especially Mexican Americans
  • Thin cornea
  • Suspicious optic nerve appearance with increased cupping (the size of the cup, the space at the center of the optic nerve, is larger than normal)

Open-Angle potential glaucoma risk factors include:

  • High myopia (very severe nearsightedness)
  • Diabetes
  • Eye surgery or injury
  • High blood pressure
  • Use of corticosteroids (for example, eye drops, pills, inhalers, and creams)
  • Prescription eye drops could cut African Americans’ risk of getting glaucoma in half.

Today there is no cure for glaucoma and the rate is increasing globally. It is more common in older adults, age 60 plus. . Therefore, you must contact us immediately if you experience Glaucoma symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment can control the disease before vision loss or blindness occurs.


Dr. Lori Landrio, Optometrist
2469 Merrick Road
Bellmore, NY 11710

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