January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness, and it is more prevalent. Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.
Over 2.2 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don't know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don't raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision.
Since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it's permanent. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.