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C. Becoming Aware of Glaucoma

Narrator: This is Science Today. January is glaucoma awareness month and therefore, a good time for those at risk to have an annual eye exam. Dr. Robert Weinreb of the University of California, San Diego says those at greatest risk are the elderly.

Weinreb: After the age of seventy, for example, there is a risk of more than five percent that you might develop glaucoma. Other individuals who are at risk are those with high eye pressure. African Americans have about a four fold greater risk of developing glaucoma and about an eight fold risk of going blind from glaucoma.

Narrator: Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve is damaged.

Weinreb: And the damage leads to loss of vision and possible blindness. In the earliest stages of glaucoma, there's no obvious loss of vision to the patient and glaucoma can only be detected with specialized testing of vision.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.