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A common eye disease is highly misunderstood. A local doctor explains glaucoma

Jan 30, 2014 -- 4:41pm

Many people confuse glaucoma with cataracts. Others think glaucoma is cancer. Board Certified Refractive and Corneal Surgeon with Eye Care Specialists, Dr. Shawn Parker says in reality it is a slow, painless, progressive disease of the optic nerve. It is the second leading cause of blindness for Whites in America, as well as the number one cause of blindness for Blacks and Hispanics. He says you have to ask your optometrist to check your eye pressure during your annual exam… especially if you are over forty.  Parker tells KZIM KSIM treatment is available but there is no cure…"It can arrest it or hold it at bay. That treatment consists of lowering the eye pressure. The eye makes fluid that nourishes the inside of the eye. It's not the same fluid that we use when we cry. There is a delicate balance of how much the eye produces. But.. what it produces it has to let out as well." Risk factors include: age, ethnicity, genetics, vision issues, and central corneal thickness. Eye drops and prescription drugs can keep it at bay in some cases. When asked if medical marijuana is a good treatment plan, Parker says the health issues caused by the smoking of it far outweigh the benefits so he would advise against it. He says the best way to fight glaucoma is to detect it early. 

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