Magazine article USA TODAY

Detect Glaucoma with Early, Frequent Exams

Magazine article USA TODAY

Detect Glaucoma with Early, Frequent Exams

Article excerpt

A number of young and middle-aged people wrongly assume they cannot get glaucoma, believing it is an eye disease of old age, notes J. James Thimons, medical director of Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut. While the prevalence of glaucoma is considerably higher in the population over 65, he treats many young people, even juveniles, who have the disease.

"Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the internal fluid pressure of the eye rises, and there is damage to the optic nerve. This can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated. Unfortunately, I recently diagnosed a nine-year-old," he indicates. "It is particularly important for people to understand their own risk factors. African-Americans, people of Caribbean-island origin or descent, and those who have a family history [of the disease] are at a much higher risk than the general population and should therefore have a comprehensive eye examination more frequently, and at a younger age. …

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