More than 46,000 Missourians suffer from a debilitating disease that can threaten their sight – and their quality of life. Yet only half know they have it.

The Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation is focused on detecting glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness, in these individuals through its free screenings and stopping this degenerative disease in its tracks. The organization will hold a free glaucoma detection screening from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday, June 18, at the Cabool Senior Center.

Glaucoma is a disease that gradually causes vision loss due to damage to the optic nerve from elevated pressure within the eye. In most cases, vision loss is gradual and painless — often making the disease undetectable. Unfortunately, vision that is lost to glaucoma cannot be regained. However, through early detection and the help of medications and/or surgery, it is possible to slow down and even halt further vision loss. Those individuals most at risk of glaucoma include anyone over the age of 60, those with diabetes or a family history of glaucoma, and African-Americans over the age of 40.

The foundation’s quick and effective free Glaucoma Detection Screening uses a non-contact tonometer to emit a “puff” of air into the eye to measure its pressure levels. If a high-pressure reading is given, the foundation’s trained staff encourages the screening participant to visit an eye care provider for further diagnosis and treatment. Since foundation screenings began in 1981, 7 percent of those tested were found to be at risk of glaucoma.

For more details on the screening program, visit or call the foundation at 800-753-2265, ext. 8518.


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