Narrator: This is Science Today. About 60 million people worldwide suffer from glaucoma, a condition in which the optic nerve is damaged. Dr. Robert Weinreb of the University of California, San Diego Shiley Eye Center says glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness.
Weinreb: There are several reasons that patients go blind from glaucoma. The most common one is that they are simply unaware that they have the condition and they don't seek treatment early in the course of this disease.
Narrator: Weinreb says only a skilled eye care professional can detect glaucoma early on since there are no changes in vision until very late in the disease.
Weinreb: Early detection is essential to the management of glaucoma because the earlier it's detected, the sooner treatment can be initiated and as sooner you initiate treatment, the lower the risk of going blind from glaucoma.
Narrator: Those who should get regular check-ups are the elderly, African Americans, people who are near sighted and those who have a family history of the disease. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.