SOURCE: LASIK Vision Institute

November 26, 2007 13:00 ET

Many Americans Diagnosed With Glaucoma While Getting Routine Eye Exams for Eyeglass Prescriptions

Common Form of Glaucoma Has No Symptoms and Can Lead to Deteriorated Vision; Experts Estimate Half the People Affected by Glaucoma May Not Know It

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - November 26, 2007) -

Source: Dr. Tony Roberts, M.D., Independent Doctor of Ophthalmology at the LASIK Vision Institute

"A very high percentage of adults in the U.S. don't think to get tested for glaucoma, and because the disease usually has no symptoms, it often goes undiagnosed for long periods of time. Gradually, the person notices their eyesight starting to deteriorate and they begin to lose their peripheral vision. Sources show that glaucoma is the number one cause of blindness, which makes it important for people to get their vision checked every 2 years. If a person is over the age of 40, they should have their vision checked annually. There is no cure for glaucoma, so it is imperative to detect the disease early on and start treatment immediately to minimize the irreversible effects it can have on one's vision. As part of our routine eye examinations, we give dilated eye exams, which detect glaucoma. It is surprising to me how many people come in for a LASIK procedure, get an eye exam and find out they have a form of glaucoma. This is a disease that affects the optic nerves within the eye, and there are two types: open angle glaucoma and closed angle glaucoma. Open angle is the more common form, and closed angle is more rare and serious. This disease can silently destroy a person's vision; no pain, no symptoms, no nothing."

Additional facts about Glaucoma, courtesy of the Glaucoma Research Foundation:

--  An estimated 3 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those
    know they have it. (Prevent Blindness America)
--  Approximately 120,000 people are blind from glaucoma, accounting for 9-
    12 percent of all cases of blindness in the U.S. (National Eye Health
    Program/National Institutes of Health)
--  Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. (World
    Health Organization)
--  Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African-Americans than
    Caucasians. (American Academy of Ophthalmology)
--  High-risk groups include African-Americans, people over 60, family
    members of those already diagnosed, diabetics and people who are severely
--  Estimates put the total number of suspected cases of glaucoma at
    around 65 million worldwide. (Quigley, "Number of people with glaucoma
--  A recent survey showed that blindness ranked third (after cancer and
    heart disease) as people's major fear, and that 50 percent of people had
    heard of glaucoma, but weren't sure what it was. 30 percent had never heard
    of glaucoma at all.

Dr. Tony Roberts is an independent ophthalmic surgeon with The LASIK Vision Institute and has performed more than 30,000 LASIK surgeries. He earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and was graduated with honors. Roberts was formerly chief resident of Nassau County Medical Center in Long Island New York and did his fellowship training at the Armed Forces Institute of Eye Pathology. Roberts is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and is one of the most experienced refractive surgeons on the East Coast.

The LASIK Vision Institute (LVI) provides laser vision correction services through the company's 30 upscale laser correction centers located in 23 states across the country. LVI uses CustomVue by VISX Technology, the latest state-of-the-art FDA-approved laser technology, in each of its centers. Procedures are performed by experienced independent eye surgeons who have collectively completed more than 650,000 eye surgeries. Pre and postoperative visits, along with patient counseling, are available at all locations. Unlike other eye surgery providers, LVI owns its laser equipment and can offer consumers pricing significantly below other providers while maintaining a high standard of service from the best quality physicians. More information is available at

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