Celebrities have eye problems as often as the rest of us. When Bono shared his experience with glaucoma, he said that he had been dealing with it for many years. He demonstrates how people with glaucoma can keep their sight and continue to lead a normal life if treated early enough.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the probability of blindness due to glaucoma has decreased by nearly half since 1980 largely due to advances in both diagnosis and therapies.
Glaucoma does not make blindness inevitable. Adherence to a program of prescription eye drops and, when needed, surgery make it possible to delay vision loss for a long time. “I have good treatments and I am going to be fine,” Bono said at the time of the announcement.
The most important element in preventing blindness from glaucoma is early diagnosis. Many people are not aware that glaucoma may have no obvious symptoms. The only sure way to diagnose glaucoma is with a complete eye exam. A screening that only checks eye pressure is helpful but may not be enough to find glaucoma. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all adults (even if they have never had vision problems) get a baseline, comprehensive eye examination at least by age 40, the time when early signs of disease or changes in vision may occur.
A baseline exam can help identify glaucoma and other eye disease at the early stages when many treatments can have the greatest impact on preserving vision. Of course, if you have any problems with your vision before age 40, don’t wait; make an appointment with an ophthalmologist right away.