Did you know that you could be going blind and not even know it? That's what glaucoma does; it sneaks up on you gradually. Statistics show us that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in all adults over 60 affecting as many as 2.2 million people nationwide. However, studies also show us that at least half of all persons with glaucoma do not know that they have this potentially blinding condition. According to the Chautauqua Blind Association some people are especially at risk. Recent studies have confirmed that the rate of glaucoma increases with age and that African Americans have higher rates of the disease than whites or Hispanics/Latinos. African Americans are almost three times more likely to develop visual impairment due to glaucoma than other ethnic groups. There are no symptoms of glaucoma in the early stages of the disease and there is no cure, once vision loss occurs it is permanent and cannot be reversed. However, with early detection and treatment glaucoma can be controlled and the risk of blindness reduced. The professionals at Chautauqua Blind Association stress the importance for everyone, especially people at increased risk, of having a dilated eye examination every two years. It doesn't hurt, it's easy, and it could save your sight. Contact your eye care professional today to make an appointment to get your eyes examined. If this disease has already decreased your vision to the point of limiting your activities and independence, contact the Chautauqua Blind Association at 664-6660 for information on services that might be available.