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Renowned Eye Surgeon Dr. Stewart Shofner Expresses The Importance of National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Mon, Jan 5th 2015 02:00 pm
Nashville, TN

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center sees a variety of patients suffering from impaired vision and most recently he has seen an increase in those who are diagnosed with glaucoma. Dr. Shofner joins leading eye and health care organizations this month to support National Glaucoma Awareness Month.

To support the initiative, Dr. Shofner offers helpful resources about glaucoma, which is also called "silent thief of sight" because the loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time, and symptoms only occur when the disease is quite advanced.

1)    Regular Eye Exams. Early detection and treatment minimizes the risk of permanent vision loss. However, there isn't a quick fix or cure. Glaucoma is a chronic condition that needs ongoing treatment. If damage has already occurred it is irreversible. "The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to schedule an eye exam," says Dr. Shofner. If diagnosed with glaucoma, appropriate treatment should begin immediately.

2)    Know Who's at Risk. This eye disease is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and mostly occurs in people over age 45; females represent over 60% of prevalent glaucoma cases worldwide. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans over the age of 40, and Hispanics over the age of 60 are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Other risk factors include thinner corneas, chronic eye inflammation, and using medications that increase the pressure in the eyes.

3)    Available Resources. The Glaucoma Research Foundation offers an educational booklet that includes an introduction to the eye disease and a definitive resource for newly diagnosed glaucoma patients. Additional resources may also be acquired from Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Health Education Program of the National Eye Institute. Vision care providers, including Shofner Vision Center also have resources available.

4)    Help Find a Cure. Glaucoma Research Foundation is a national non-profit organization funding innovative research to preserve vision and find a cure for glaucoma. Donations help subsidize equipment costs of sterile hoods and maintenance fees for incubators used by scientists who are working to cure glaucoma and much more.

5)    Share the Awareness. Talk to friends and family members about glaucoma and encourage them to schedule regular eye exams. Those with perfect vision are still at risk of developing glaucoma and nearly half of those with glaucoma do not experience any symptoms and are unaware that they have the disease. "I use a variety of diagnostic tools which aid in determining whether or not my patients have glaucoma," says Dr. Shofner.

About Glaucoma
Affecting over 2.7 million people in the U.S., Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve, and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision. The optic nerve is a bundle of about one million individual nerve fibers and transmits the visual signals from the eye to the brain.

The most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), is associated with an increase in the fluid pressure inside the eye. This increase in pressure also known as intraocular pressure (IOP) may cause progressive damage to the optic nerve and loss of nerve fibers. Two-thirds of those with closed-angle glaucoma develop it slowly without any symptoms prior to an attack.

The National Eye Institute projects glaucoma will affect 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase. "If we don't raise awareness about the importance of regular eye exams, we could see an alarming increase in blindness," says Dr. Shofner.

About Shofner Vision Center
Dr. Stewart Shofner at Shofner Vision Center, Nashville, TN specializes in cataract vision correction and LASIK vision correction surgery, eye disease diagnosis and treatment including glaucoma. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone experiencing vision impairment should contact their vision care provider or contact Shofner Vision Center for a "No Fear - No Pressure" exam to diagnose any eye disease or other vision issues.

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Shofner Vision Center's professional staff members pay close attention to details to ensure every patient is given the best experience at Shofner Vision Center. Most insurance plans are accepted including Medicaid and Tri-Care and they also offer the most affordable Custom 3D LASIK in middle Tennessee and offer special LASIK prices for military, firefighters, law enforcement and their families.

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