Pennsylvania Association for the Blind Says an Epidemic of Blindness is Looming

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Prediction of a 58% increase in Glaucoma by 2030.

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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month – The Pennsylvania Association for the Blind is working to spread the word about this “Sight-Stealing” disease.

The National Eye Institute estimates that 2.7 million people over the age of 40 have glaucoma. By 2030 it is estimated that 4.2 million people over the age of 40 will have glaucoma. This is an astonishing 58% increase. This looming epidemic of blindness will occur if people do not raise awareness about the importance of regular eye exams. Spread the word.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. However with early treatment, serious vision loss can be prevented. Glaucoma is often referred to as “sight-stealing” because at first, glaucoma has no symptoms, causes no pain, and vision stays normal. As glaucoma remains untreated, people may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eyes and over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains. There is no cure for Glaucoma and any vision loss cannot be regained. Treatment can only prevent any further loss of vision.

Who is at Risk?

Glaucoma can strike all ages, even as young as newborn babies, but those at a higher risk are people over the age of 60, (this disease affects 1 in 200 people by the age of 50, but as many as 1 in 10 people by the age of 80) people of African, Asian and Hispanic descent, diabetics, people who are severely nearsighted and those people who have family members already diagnosed with Glaucoma.

What can be done?

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness, and early detection is the only way to protect your eyes from serious vision loss. Everyone should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year and encourage family and friends to do the same.

In just a blink of an eye, Glaucoma can steal vision from what appears to be a perfectly healthy eye. The Pennsylvania Association for the Blind urges everyone to have their eyes tested before a costly and irreversible mistake is made.

For additional helpful information, visit

Contact: Katie Schock - PA Assn. f/t Blind Phone: 717-766-2020 Email: Katie.schock (at) pablind (dot) org

Beaver Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Berks Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Blair/Clearfield Assn. f/t Blind, Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh, Bucks Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Butler Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Cambria Co. Assn. f/t Blind & Handicapped, Center f/t Blind & Visually Impaired, Central Susquehanna Sight Services, Center for Vision Loss, Chester Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Fayette Co. Assn. f/t Blind, ForSight Vision, Greater Wilkes-Barre Assn. f/t Blind, Hazleton Blind Assn., Indiana Co. Blind Assn., Keystone Blind Assn., Lackawanna Branch –PAB, Lawrence Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Montgomery Co. Assn. f/t Blind, North Central Sight Services, Nu Visions Center, South Central Blind Assn., Susquehanna Association f/t Blind & Vision Impaired, Tri-County Assn. f/t Blind, Venango Co. Assn. f/t Blind, The Sight Center of Northwest PA, Washington-Greene Assn. f/t Blind, Westmoreland Co. Blind Assn.

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Katie Schock
Pennsylvania Association for the Blind
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