Keeping an eye
GLAUCOMA, AN EYE disease that causes damage to the optic nerve, is one of the leading causes of blindness. Approximately 2. 22 million Americans have glaucoma. By the year 2020, it is estimated that 3. 36 million people will have the disease.
Types of glaucoma. All eyes have a certain pressure that is necessary to maintain proper
eye health. Glaucoma can roughly be broken
down into two types: open-angle and angle-closure. Both generally involve a high eye pressure.
Open-angle glaucoma tends to be slowly progressive and chronic, while angle-closure may
develop more rapidly and can be painful.
Risk factors. Risk factors include high
intraocular pressure (IOP), race (
African-Americans are six to eight times more likely to
have glaucoma than Caucasians), being 60 or
older, a family history of glaucoma, corticosteroid use, thin corneas, a history of eye injury,
diabetes, myopia (nearsightedness), sleep apnea
and high blood pressure.
Treatment. Most people have no symptoms, and there may be no warning signs. This is
because peripheral vision is lost first. Only in
By Arun Prasad
© ANNA OMELCHENKO / AGE FOTOSTOCK
PEOPLE WITH AUTISM are classed
as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD)—a group of developmental disabilities that can cause
significant social, communication
and behavioral challenges. The
terms “autism” and “ASD” are
often used interchangeably. People
with autism have a set of symptoms unique to themselves, with
no two people the same.
Tablet or smartphone? For one boy’s story on what it’s like to have a brother with autism, scan or click here. (See page 5 for details.)
advanced glaucoma is central vision affected.
And once optic-nerve damage occurs, it is permanent and irreversible.
That makes it imperative to have regular
dilated eye exams to detect optic nerve damage.
Your doctor will perform various tests to evaluate the health of the eye and the optic nerve.
Treatment options include eye drops, oral
medication, laser surgery and incisional surgery. The treatment chosen depends on the
type of glaucoma and the severity of the disease. The goal of treatment is to lower the IOP
to an acceptable level, at which the risk of progression is decreased. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, treatment can help
maintain optic nerve health, which ultimately
preserves vision. C
(from the Autism Society, www.
■ One percent of children in
the U.S. ages 3 to 17 have an
autism spectrum disorder.
■ Prevalence is estimated at 1
in 88 births.
■ Autism is four times more
prevalent in boys than in girls.
■ There is no known cause
■ One million to 1. 5 million
Americans live with an autism
■ There has been 10 to 17
percent annual growth in the
incidence of ASD diagnoses.
■ The annual cost of
autism is $60 billion.
■ In 10 years, the
annual cost will be $200
billion to $400 billion.
■ Sixty percent of
autism costs are for
■ The cost of lifelong care can be reduced
by two-thirds with
Costco member Arun Prasad, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist.
■ About 18 people a day die
because of the lack of available organs for transplant.
National Donate Life Month (NDLM), instituted in 2003 and celebrated in April each year, features an entire month of local, regional and national activities encouraging Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation. Unfortunately, despite con- tinuing advances in medicine and technology, the need for organs and tissue is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation. ■ More than 115,000 men, women and children currently need lifesav- ing organ transplants. The news isn’t all bad. ■ In 2011, there were 8,127 deceased organ donors and 6,017 living organ donors, resulting in 28,535 organ transplants. ■ More than 46,000 corneas were transplanted in 2011. ■ More than 1 million tissue transplants are done each year. ■ According to research, 98 percent of all adults have heard about organ donation and 86 percent have heard of tissue donation. ■ Ninety percent of Americans ay they support donation, but only 30 percent know the essential steps to take to be a donor. (To find out about the steps, visit the United Network for Organ Sharing (
http://unos.org). ) CONTINUED ON PAGE 68
TRANSPLANTATION is one
of the most remarkable
success stories in the history
It gives hope
of people with
with active and