CHICAGO—January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. And to help practitioners better educate patients and caregivers on the disease, in partnership with Responum Health, Prevent Blindness has launched The Glaucoma Community a new and comprehensive resource accessible online or via the mobile app. The Community provides users with a variety of features including:

• A personalized Newsfeed.

• A Community Chat function.

• Dedicated Facebook page.

• Glaucoma content in seven different languages.

• A Patient One-Sheet, which allows patients to easily collect, maintain, and print their key medical information in a secure format.

• Access to extensive patient resources, including financial assistance programs and glaucoma support groups.

In addition to volunteers from Prevent Blindness, the Content Advisory Council for The Glaucoma Community includes representatives from the BrightFocus Foundation, National Medical Association (NMA) Ophthalmology, and The Glaucoma Foundation. The Glaucoma Community was made possible by a grant from The Allergan Foundation.

Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, said, “The Glaucoma Community was designed to provide the public with multiple tools to help save sight from one of the most prevalent eye diseases in the world. As the New Year unfolds, we encourage everyone to make a strong commitment to their vision health by making an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible. By detecting and treating vision problems early, including glaucoma, we can help protect the precious gift of sight.”

For those in need of financial assistance, “The Glaucoma Program” from the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America, provides a glaucoma eye exam at no cost to those who are eligible and uninsured. For information on additional financial assistance programs in English or Spanish, including Medicare coverage, Prevent Blindness offers a range of resources here.

More information on glaucoma, including factsheets (available in English or Spanish), definitions, data and sharable infographics, are available here.

According to Prevent Blindness’s “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems” report, more than 3.7 million older adults in the U.S. live with glaucoma today. According to the National Eye Institute, which also offers a range of resources and information here, women account for 61 percent of glaucoma cases. Additionally, Black Americans age 40 and older are at the highest risk of developing glaucoma. By age 69, nearly 6 percent of Black Americans have glaucoma, with the risk rising to nearly 12 percent after age 80.

Finally, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that because Hispanic and Latino Americans are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the U.S., by 2050, half of people living with glaucoma will be Hispanic or Latino.