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Renowned Eye Surgeon Dr. Stewart Shofner Supports Glaucoma Awareness Month to Help Prevent an Epidemic of Blindness

Tue, Jan 5th 2016 06:00 am
Nashville, TN

According to the National Eye Institute, over 4 million Americans will have glaucoma by 2030. In order to combat the 58% increase, Dr. Stewart Shofner with Shofner Vision Center and other industry professionals are spreading awareness this month to help prevent an epidemic of blindness.

"Many patients don't even realize they have glaucoma and it's one of the leading causes of preventable blindness," continues Dr. Shofner. Almost 40% of vision can be lost without someone noticing hence why this eye disease is also known to be "the sneak thief of sight."

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African-Americans (6 to 8 times more common than Caucasians). People of Hispanic or Asian decent, people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely near-sighted all have great risk of developing glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can result in damage to the optic nerve and vision loss. A major risk factor is increased pressure in the eye. The disorders can be roughly divided into two main categories: "open-angle" and "closed-angle" (or "angle closure") glaucoma.


Open-angle chronic glaucoma is painless, tends to develop slowly over time and often has no symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly. Closed angle glaucoma is usually chronic and asymptomatic but can present all of a sudden as well. This involves sudden eye pain, blurred vision, mid-dilated pupil, redness, nausea and vomiting, resulting from a sudden spike in intraocular pressure from iridotrabecular contact.

Glaucoma can permanently damage vision in the affected eye, first by decreasing peripheral vision (reducing the visual field), and then potentially leading to blindness if left untreated. Currently there are approximately 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, that have glaucoma. According to WHO, approximately 120,000 people are blind from glaucoma just in the US.

Who's at Risk

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African-Americans (6 to 8 times more common than Caucasians). People of Hispanic or Asian decent, people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely near-sighted all have great risk of developing glaucoma.

Help Raise Awareness

"I can't emphasize enough the importance of regular eye exams, especially for those who are at greater risk," says Dr. Shofner. Like most issues, sometimes it takes team effort to help raise awareness to make a positive difference in the world.

  • Schedule regular eye exams and include genetic history with your doctor.
  • Learn more about glaucoma from your eye doctor or any of these online resources: shofnervisioncenter.com orglaucoma.org where you can download an informative brochure.
  • Talk to your friends and family about glaucoma.

After diagnosing patients, Dr. Shofner treats specific types of glaucoma disease by using medication or laser surgery, both can slow or prevent further vision loss. Currently, there isn't a cure for this eye disease. However, The Catalyst for a Cure Biomarker Initiative, funded by Glaucoma Research Foundation, is a collaborative research effort designed to accelerate the pace of discovery toward better treatments and ultimately a cure for glaucoma.


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 local ophthalmologist 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, our staff is comprised of trained professionals who care about you and your vision. 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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