January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and new research from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology underscores the importance of raising awareness for this degenerative eye disease. The study found that patients with glaucoma are at a greatly increased risk of having a car accident while driving, likely due to unnoticed visual blind spots.
Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease affecting more than three million Americans, and the National Eye Institute projects cases will increase 58 percent by 2030. The new study found that patients with glaucoma were in almost 10 times as many car accidents as patients of the same age without glaucoma. This figure is especially alarming considering that an estimated 50 percent of people with glaucoma do not even know they have this disease. By the time patients realize they have vision problems, damage can be extensive, and it is irreversible. Treatment, however, can slow progression.
Dr. Leah Kammerdiener joined radio show First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross to explain how glaucoma affects vision, signs, risk factors, and the latest treatment options to preserve vision. Listen to the full interview below.