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Houston, Texas (1/8/2014) Houston Ophthalmologists from The Eye Clinic of Texas suggest that patients with glaucoma use extra caution when driving due to the often subtle but significant restriction in their visual field as a result of the disease. “We know that glaucoma can limit and restrict a person’s peripheral vision, without damaging their central vision or visual acuity. This means that many people who have glaucoma are able to pass the routine eye chart test required for a driver’s license as the visual acuity test evaluates only central vision. Drivers need good peripheral vision in order to evaluate and move with the flow of traffic, stay in the proper lane, and detect other vehicles,” explained Bernard Milstein, M.D. “What worries us and motivates us to remind Houston drivers with glaucoma to be especially cautious is the research indicating that glaucoma related vision loss may increase the risk of auto accidents by two fold,” shared Dr. Da-Thuy Van.  

As January marks Prevent Blindness America National Glaucoma Awareness Month, the eye doctors at The Eye Clinic of Texas wish to remind our community of the need for patients to understand their risk of glaucoma as well as the advances in glaucoma treatment that can help to prevent vision loss from this eye disease. “Everyone is really at risk for glaucoma and thus should have regular eye exams with glaucoma screening,” commented Ophthalmologist Allan Fradkin, M.D.  of The Eye Clinic of Texas. “We know that there is a direct correlation between glaucoma risk and age such that chances of developing glaucoma increase considerably after the age of 40 and those over 60 are six times more likely to get glaucoma even without a family or medical history of glaucoma,” Dr. Fradkin explained. “When you do have a family member with glaucoma-especially a brother or sister-your risk increases to 4-9 times the average population.”

“For certain we know that race and ethnicity play a role in glaucoma risk. African-Americans have a genetic predisposition that exposes them to a six to eight fold increased risk for glaucoma, with glaucoma being the cause of blindness in this population. Also, patients of Hispanic descent over the age of 60 seem to be at increased risk as well,” noted Dr. Van. “Other risks that patients need to be aware of now include the long term use of oral contraceptive birth control pills, the early onset of natural menopause and the diagnosis of sleep apnea-all seem to increase glaucoma risk in a significant way,” Dr. Van summarized.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

To learn more about The Eye Clinic of Texas you may visit http://www.ecot.com or http://www.facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

For additional information, contact:

Amy Trittel, The Eye Clinic of Texas, 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550, atrittel@ecot.com, 1-800-423-3937

SOURCE: Medical Management Services Group, L.L.C.

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