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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma Facts and Stats

1. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness.

2. There is no cure (yet) for glaucoma, and vision lost cannot be regained.

3. Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, from babies to senior citizens.

4. There may be no symptoms to warn you and there are virtually no symptoms.

Some Statistics About Glaucoma

(Sources are listed at the bottom of this page)

  • It is estimated that over 3 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those know they have it. (1)
  • In the U.S., more than 120,000 are blind from glaucoma, accounting for 9% to 12% of all cases of blindness. (2)
  • Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
  • After cataracts, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans. (1)
  • Blindness from glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians. (3)
  • African Americans are 15 times more likely to be visually impaired from glaucoma than Caucasians. (4)
  • The most common form, open-angle glaucoma, accounts for 19% of all blindness among African Americans compared to 6% in Caucasians. (5)
  • Other high-risk groups include: people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely nearsighted.
  • Estimates put the total number of suspected cases of glaucoma at over 60 million worldwide. (6)

Sources: (1) The Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group, Arch Ophthalmol. 2004; Prevent Blindness America; (2) National Institutes of Health; Quigley and Vitale, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1997; (3) Javitt et al, Undertreatment of Glaucoma Among Black Americans. N Eng J Med 1991; (4) The Salisbury Eye Evaluation Study, Arch Ophthalmol 2000; (5) Racial differences in the cause-specific prevalence of blindness in east Baltimore. N Engl J Med. 1991; (6) Quigley and Broman “Number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020”, 2006; (7) Center for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics, 2010 & 1995; (8) NEI, Report of the Glaucoma Panel, Fall 1998