Office for the Aging


January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

The National Eye Institute defines glaucoma as a group of diseases that destroys vision by attacking the optic nerve. Everyone aged 60 and older, particularly Hispanics/Latinos; African Americans over the age of 40; and people with a family history of the disease have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

Signs of Glaucoma

  • Moving the head hesitantly while walking or walking close to or reaching for the wall
  • Bumping into objects that are off to the side, near the head, or at foot level
  • Trouble reading, writing, or doing activities in a dimly lit room

Like most diseases, glaucoma is easier to treat when it is discovered early, and annual eye exams are strongly recommended. Medicare covers an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam for some people at higher risk for glaucoma. These people include those with diabetes, those with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans aged 50 and older, and Hispanics/Latinos aged 65 and older. Check your eligibility for preventative exams on the Medicare website.

For More Information
Additional information on aging and vision loss is presented by VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Living Well with Low Vision is an online resource for those with low vision. It was developed from the point of view of patients and patient advocates, and was designed with viewing accommodations for differing levels of vision loss, searchable resource directories, a database of 1,500 municipal paratransit services, self-help texts, and a blog to raise awareness about day-to-day issues.