Four Key Facts About Glaucoma:
Some Statistics About Glaucoma
- It is estimated that over 4 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those know they have it.
- Approximately 120,000 are blind from glaucoma, accounting for 9% to 12% of all cases of blindness in the U.S.
- About 2% of the population ages 40-50 and 8% over 70 have high eye pressure.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
- Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans.
- Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.
- African Americans ages 45-65 are 14 to 17 times more likely to go blind from glaucoma than Caucasians with glaucoma in the same age group.
- The most common form, open-angle glaucoma, accounts for 19% of all blindness among African Americans compared to 6% in Caucasians.
- Other high-risk groups include: people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely nearsighted.
- Estimates put the total number of suspected cases of glaucoma at around 70 million worldwide.
Public Awareness and Attitudes
A survey done for Glaucoma Research Foundation found that:
- 74% of over 1,000 people interviewed said they have their eyes examined at least every two years.
- 61% of those (less than half of all adult Americans) are receiving a dilated eye exam (the best and most effective way to detect glaucoma).
- 16% of African Americans were unfamiliar with glaucoma.
- 9% of Caucasians were unfamiliar with glaucoma.
A 2002 Prevent Blindness America Survey found that:
- Blindness ranked third (after cancer and heart disease) as people’s major fear.
- 20% of people knew that glaucoma was related to elevated pressure within the eye.
- Most of them mistakenly thought people could tell if they had glaucoma due to symptoms, or that it was easily cured, or that it did not lead to blindness.
- 50% had heard of glaucoma, but weren’t sure what it was.
- 30% had never heard of glaucoma.
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