Glaucoma occurs when the fluid that flows in and out of the eye drains too slowly, gradually increasing pressure inside the eye. A new study shows pressure-lowering eye drops may delay or possibly prevent the onset of glaucoma in nearly 50 percent of blacks, who are at higher risk for developing the disease. According to the article, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the black community, and as a group, blacks are three-times more likely than whites to develop the disease.
Researchers say the therapeutic benefit of medication does not imply that every patient with glaucoma requires treatment. Factors such as corneal thickness, age, and general health should be considered when determining who should be treated rather than solely relying on race.
Results of a 22-center study shows only 8.4 percent of black participants who received eye drops developed glaucoma. In comparison, 16.1 percent of the black participants who did not receive the daily eye drops developed glaucoma.
Thus investigators stress that blacks over age 40 should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years to determine glaucoma risk. If detected early, glaucoma usually can be controlled, preventing serious vision loss