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Glaucoma Screenings

 
Frequently Asked Questions

How Does The Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Work?

Screenings are performed at individual events in their home districts, i.e., health fairs, forums, political meetings, church gatherings, party get-togethers, even something as simple as a coffee and cake chat with senior citizens. Screenings will be conducted by eye care professionals and their trained staff who have indicated a willingness to support this important health care screening initiative. Constituents can ask questions of the screening personnel. They are more than willing to help with follow-up.

The Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation (FCGCF) will coordinate and organize the glaucoma screenings by providing the personnel and resources necessary to conduct the screenings. The FCGCF will also provide patient information, brochures and materials regarding glaucoma in English and Spanish along with background information regarding the work of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus and the FCGCF. Refreshments are available on request.

What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and can lead to blindness. The most common form of glaucoma affects about 3,000,000 Americans. It is important to realize that glaucoma often has no symptoms, until vision has been permanently decreased.
Can Glaucoma Be Cured?
No. Once a person has developed glaucoma, treatment may stop the ongoing damage, but continued observation and treatment is necessary in most cases. Any damage that has been done to the vital optic nerve cannot be repaired. With early treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss and blindness.
Who is at Risk for Glaucoma?
• African Americans are Five to Seven Times More Likely to Develop Glaucoma
• Individuals of Hispanic Origin
• Anyone Over the Age of 40
• Anyone with a Family History of Glaucoma
• Anyone with Diabetes and/or High Blood Pressure
Can Glaucoma Be Treated?
Yes. With early treatment, you can usually protect your eyes against serious vision loss and blindness.
Can Glaucoma Be Prevented?
No. However if glaucoma is detected early, the damage can be stopped before any
significant damage has been done to the optic nerve.
 
How Can Glaucoma Be Detected?
Early discovery is the key to successfully controlling glaucoma. Physicians have developed a series of quick and painless tests to detect glaucoma before it begins
to damage your sight. These tests involve measuring the eye pressure and examining the optic nerve. A glaucoma screening, while not definitive, can indicate early signs associated with glaucoma.
Does Screening for Glaucoma Take Long?
No. You can be screened for glaucoma in less than ten minutes.
 
Does Screening for Glaucoma Hurt?
No. The tests are painless and they leave no after-effects. We typically use the non-invasive, state-of-the art Frequency Doubling Technology (FDT) machine as a diagnostic tool. The results of your tests will be provided to you as soon as possible.
What if the Screening for Glaucoma Indicates a Problem?
Contact an eye care professional immediately. This is VITAL. The sooner you begin treatment, the better. For about 90% of patients, sight can be preserved if glaucoma is discovered and treated early enough by the precise and faithful use of eye drops, laser treatment and sometimes surgery.
 
Does Medicare Cover the Glaucoma Screening?
Effective January 1, 2002, the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus successfully passed H.R. 5543 making annual glaucoma screenings a paid benefit under Medicare coverage.
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