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Glaucoma Facts and Stats

Glaucoma is a very misunderstood disease. Often, people don't realize the severity or who is affected.

Four Key Facts About Glaucoma

1. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness
Glaucoma can cause blindness if it is left untreated. And unfortunately approximately 10% of people with glaucoma who receive proper treatment still experience loss of vision.

2. There is no cure (yet) for glaucoma
Glaucoma is not curable, and vision lost cannot be regained. With medication and/or surgery, it is possible to halt further loss of vision. Since open-angle glaucoma is a chronic condition, it must be monitored for life. Diagnosis is the first step to preserving your vision.

3. Everyone is at risk for glaucoma
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma from babies to senior citizens. Older people are at a higher risk for glaucoma but babies can be born with glaucoma (approximately 1 out of every 10,000 babies born in the United States). Young adults can get glaucoma, too. African Americans in particular are susceptible at a younger age.

4. There may be no symptoms to warn you
With open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, there are virtually no symptoms. Usually, no pain is associated with increased eye pressure. Vision loss begins with peripheral or side vision. You may compensate for this unconsciously by turning your head to the side, and may not notice anything until significant vision is lost. The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get tested. If you have glaucoma, treatment can begin immediately.

Some Statistics About Glaucoma

Sources are listed at the bottom of this page.


Public Awareness and Attitudes

A survey done for Glaucoma Research Foundation found that:


Economic Impact


Sources: (1) Prevent Blindness America; (2) National Eye Health Program/National Institutes of Health; (3) American Academy of Ophthalmology; (4) Racial differences in the cause-specific prevalence of blindness in east Baltimore. N Engl J Med. 1991 Nov 14;325(20):1412-7; (5) Quigley, "Number of people with glaucoma worldwide," 1996; (6) NEI, Report of the Glaucoma Panel, Fall 1998