May 13, 2019


Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: Three million people in the United States have glaucoma, but as many as half of those people don't even know they actually have the disease. Ophthalmologist Dr. Jeff Pettey, first of all, what is glaucoma?

Dr. Pettey: Glaucoma's a disease of the optic nerve that causes permanent vision loss. The reason that so many people are unaware they have glaucoma is because it robs you of your peripheral vision. If you lost your central vision, you would notice very quickly, being unable to read or recognize faces. But the peripheral vision loss is much more difficult, particularly when it's slow. You can have glaucoma at any age, but its risk increases the older you are. With glaucoma being a permanent form of vision loss, it's very important to be diagnosed early. If you don't remember the last time that you saw an eye doctor trained in glaucoma, you should get in and see your physician and be screened.

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