Minority Eye Health: Know Your Risks
Race-Related Risk Factors for Eye Disease May Signal that You Need More Frequent Eye Exams
In addition to your family history, age and gender, your race may also determine how prone you are to certain eye diseases. As with many other health concerns, minority populations are at a greater risk for eye disease and vision loss. In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans and Hispanics in the U.S.
Here are some important statistics to know about:
- The leading causes of blindness for African Americans are glaucoma and cataract. Three times as many African Americans have glaucoma than Caucasians, and four times as many are blind. African Americans are also at greater risk for diabetic retinopathy.
- Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among Hispanics, but is undetected in most cases – making glaucoma victims more likely to lose their vision. Hispanics are also at greater risk for cataract and diabetic retinopathy.
- Asian Americans have a higher risk for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
The good news is that eye exams can help detect problems early to prevent unnecessary vision loss. If you know that you are at greater risk, make sure you see an ophthalmologist regularly to monitor your eye health and take any necessary steps to treat eye disease and prevent vision loss. EyeCare America offers eye exams at no out-of-pocket cost to qualifying individuals. See if you or a loved one qualifies today!