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Statistics

Glaucoma Statistics

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These statistics and insights highlight the critical nature of addressing glaucoma as a major public health issue in the United States.

Prevalence:
  • More than 3 million Americans are currently living with glaucoma.
  • By 2030, the number of Americans with glaucoma is projected to increase by nearly 50%.
Blindness:
  • Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States.
  • It is responsible for approximately 120,000 cases of blindness in the U.S.
  • Accounts for 9-12% of all cases of blindness in the country.

 

Ethnic and Racial Disparities:
  • African Americans are 15 times more likely to be visually impaired by glaucoma than white Americans.
  • Leading cause of blindness among African Americans.
  • Hispanics: Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among this demographic, with a higher risk of developing the disease compared to non-Hispanic whites.
Undiagnosed Cases:
  • Approximately 50% of people with glaucoma in the United States are unaware they have the disease. This lack of awareness leads to underdiagnosis and untreated conditions.
Age and Gender Factors:
  • The risk of developing glaucoma increases significantly with age. People over the age of 60 are at a higher risk.
  • Women are more likely than men to develop certain types of glaucoma, such as angle-closure glaucoma.
Economic Impact:
  • The direct medical costs of treating glaucoma in the U.S. are estimated to exceed $2.86 billion annually.
  • The overall economic burden, including lost productivity due to vision loss, is substantial.
Impact on Military Service:
  • Over a 15-year period, glaucoma disqualified more than 117,000 active service personnel in the U.S. military.
Screening and Diagnosis:
  • Regular eye exams are crucial for early detection, especially for high-risk groups including those over 60, African Americans, and individuals with a family history of glaucoma.
  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that individuals aged 40 and older have a comprehensive eye exam every 2-4 years, and those aged 65 and older should have an exam every 1-2 years.
Public Awareness and Education:
  • Efforts to raise awareness about the importance of regular eye check-ups can help improve early detection rates.
  • National campaigns and events, such as World Glaucoma Week, aim to educate the public about the risks and importance of early intervention.
Research and Innovations:
  • Ongoing research is crucial to understanding glaucoma better and developing new treatments.
  • The National Eye Institute (NEI) and other organizations fund research to improve diagnostic methods and treatment options.