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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Education > Latinos at high-risk for developing glaucoma

Latinos at high-risk for developing glaucoma

LatinaLista — This month is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Though most people think it’s an “old people’s disease,” the truth is that Latinos are at risk.

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As it is, over 3 million people suffer from glaucoma and half of them don’t even know it, until it’s too late. Or if they do notice something is wrong with their eyesight, they think a quick eye-rub or steeped teabags on the eyes will do the trick.

If only that was true!

 

Someone living with glaucoma would see the world in shadow.

Latinos who don’t get regular eye exams and think things like: blurry vision, severe eye pain, headaches, rainbow-colored halos around lights and nausea and vomiting will pass are taking big risks with their eyesight. If glaucoma goes untreated, blindness sets in and it’s irreversible.

To raise more awareness of glaucoma among the Latino community, EyeCare America is offering free glaucoma screenings, even for people without insurance.

The Glaucoma EyeCare Program promotes early detection and treatment of glaucoma. It raises awareness of glaucoma risk factors such as family history, race, age, provides free glaucoma educational materials and facilitates access to a glaucoma eye exam.

As with everything, there are a few requirements people have to meet before being eligible for the screenings:

The Glaucoma EyeCare Program is designed for people who:

 

* Are U.S. citizens or legal residents
* Have not had an eye exam in 12 months or more
* Are at increased risk for glaucoma (family history, race, age)
* Do not belong to an HMO or the VA

To determine if you, a family member or friend qualify for a GEP referral call 1-800-391-EYES (3937) toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The EyeCare America people are so intent on reaching the Latino audience that they’ve even created a short video featuring Oscar de la Hoya. Unfortunately, de la Hoya doesn’t say a whole lot to encourage Latinos to get glaucoma exams, but he looks pretty.

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