United States face increasing glaucoma cases

Raluca Coman

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Experts say that the continuous changing in the United States population structure is going to lead to more glaucoma cases, the most important cause of vision loss in the country.
The number of the glaucoma patients is directly influenced by three leading trends: the aging of the American population, the growth of the black and Hispanic percent in the total population and the obesity that is increasing every year. Regular eye exams are very important, since glaucoma detected in its early stages can be kept under control before seriously damaging the vision. This is very difficult, because glaucoma does not have any signs or symptoms and by the time the patients realize they have a problem it has already taken most of their sight away. This disease is caused by an abnormal increase in the fluid pressure inside the eye which damages the optic nerve which fails to send the correct signals from the eye to the brain.

More than 4 million Americans are affected by glaucoma and the main risk of getting it is by aging. However, blacks and Hispanics have an increased risk of developing the disease due to their genetic heritage. It is five times more common in blacks than whites, they get it when they are younger and it resists to treatment more then the one the whites get. The glaucoma cases will also increase due to the obesity epidemics, and people suffering from diabetes are more likely to develop glaucoma.11

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