Monday, January 14, 2013

Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

University Eye Surgeons encourage annual eye exams to help prevent glaucoma

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine ophthalmologist Dr. Michael Krasnow and his colleagues at University Eye Surgeons are encouraging area residents to make the health of their eyes a priority this month as part of a national emphasis on glaucoma awareness. 

Glaucoma can damage central vision if left untreated over time and the symptoms often develop very gradually.

"Through early detection and treatment, the debilitating effects of glaucoma can be reduced and managed," Krasnow said. "It's very important for everyone to have an annual eye exam to identify glaucoma and other diseases, but it's even more significant for people with certain risk factors including their age, family history, nearsightedness, use of steroids and race."

Statistics show that African Americans are significantly more likely to develop glaucoma than white Americans.

Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is the most common form of the disease and affects more than 2.8 million people in the United States and, according to the latest research, the incident of OAG is up 20 percent in the last 10 years. 

Glaucoma can be diagnosed through a series of tests in an eye doctor's office.   For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact University Eye Surgeons at 304-691-8800.