Elderly are ignorant of glaucoma

More than 130,000 Greeks over the age of 60 are seen suffering from the eye disease glaucoma, according to survey results released yesterday, although most of them are unaware of this affliction that can lead to blindness. The results of a five-year study conducted by Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University along with three US universities from Los Angeles, Texas and Indianapolis show that up to 5.5 percent of people over 60 years old suffer from the disease. Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly destroyed. Damage progresses slowly and destroys vision gradually. According to the study, which involved 2,500 people, some 54 percent of sufferers were unaware that they had the problem. About 14 percent of those questioned replied that there have been incidents of glaucoma in their family history. People with high blood pressure, diabetes and migraine sufferers are at higher risk of getting the disease, according to medical experts.