Glaucoma Awareness

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Down at Visioncare Associates in East Lansing, 54-year-old Lenny Govoni is getting his eyes screened for glaucoma. It's a disease that runs in his family and has taken a hold of his mother's eyes.

"It's pretty scary. I've basically been with her at all her eye surgeries. So I know how frightening it is because I think for people, their sight is one of the most important things they have. So to lose it to glaucoma, there's no reason to do that."

Glaucoma is a disease caused by increased fluid pressure in the eyeball. Because there are no symptoms until damage has already been done, many people can eventually go blind if the disease is left untreated.

Optometrist Dr. Cheryl Vincent Riemer says, "Their vision might be reduced some, their peripheral vision, a reduction in visual field. In more acute phases they may see colored rings around lights."

While glaucoma is not curable, if it is detected early there are many treatments to reduce the chance of going blind.

"There are so many great medications now that can be used, different methods of treatment with surgical procedures. It's just important to catch it early and stay on top of it."

No one is immune to developing glaucoma, but there are certain individuals that are at high risk. They include, those over 60-years-old, African-Americans, people with a family history of glaucoma, and diabetics.