Glaucoma can lead to vision loss but often goes unnoticed until it’s too late

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 4:37 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that may not be top of mind for most Americans is eye care. However, for the 70 million people worldwide living with glaucoma, they risk going blind if they can’t get to a doctor’s office for routine procedures and visits.

Glaucoma is one of the primary causes of irreversible vision loss and blindness. In fact, one study showed, 27% of patients may develop blindness in one eye after 10 years. Vision impairment can affect a person living with glaucoma, as a small study showed people with glaucoma are at a 3x greater risk of falls and 6x greater risk for automobile accidents.

Intraocular pressure, the fluid pressure inside the eye, is the only treatable risk factor for glaucoma. If left untreated, glaucoma patients continue to progress, leading to vision loss and ultimately leading to blindness.

While current eye drop therapies can be effective to lower IOP, many patients struggle to administer their drops properly and consistently. One study of 71 patients showed only 28% of glaucoma patients were able to correctly instill the eye drops.

Dr. Oluwatosin Smith, a glaucoma specialist with Glaucoma Associates of Texas and a paid Allergan spokesperson, joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 on Tuesday to share important information about glaucoma and discuss strategies for managing IOP for people living with glaucoma who may have challenges with administering eye drops.

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