Eye Risks
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Most Americans are in the dark about a common eye problem that could lead to blindness. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a survey about eye health in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

A survey of 3,000 adults found that seventy-one percent of people polled said losing their eyesight would have the greatest impact on their daily life, but only 8 percent knew that there are no early warning signs of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a condition that can damage the eye’s optic nerve, possibly leading to vision loss and blindness.

The disease is stealthy and affects some groups more than others. Glaucoma is six to eight times more common among African-Americans than among those of European ancestry. It is also the leading cause of blindness among African-Americans, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Fifty-one percent of respondents knew that people with diabetes have a greater risk of getting eye disease, but only 11 percent knew that there are usually no early warning signs.

Researchers said the survey shows that nearly one quarter of Americans have not seen or heard anything about eye health or disease.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.