Glaucoma numbers increase in baby boomers

Glaucoma numbers increase in baby boomers

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - In the next decade, a disease impacting the vision of baby boomers will triple from more than 2 million cases to upwards of 6 million. New Hattiesburg Eye Clinic Specialist Dr. Adam Quinn has set his sights on making the future a bit clearer and brighter for an aging population.

“I knew that I wanted to try to help people with a disease that not all eye doctors can treat,” Quinn said.

As an ophthalmologist, Quinn said he took his training a step further to help a growing need. He specializes in glaucoma.

“Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve in the back part of the eye," Quinn said. "It’s usually due to high pressure inside the eye. It’s the number one cause of vision loss in African Americans in this country and number three in Caucasians.”

Quinn said glaucoma isn’t like other diseases. There aren’t many factors that cause it. Patients either have a genetic predisposition or older age is a cause. Quinn said there’s usually only one sign.

“It usually damages the peripheral vision very slowly over many years, which is why we suggest getting an eye exam beginning at the age of 40, so we can catch anything early,” Quinn advised.

He said left unchecked, glaucoma could lead to complete and irreversible vision loss. Before it gets to that, Quinn said patients should come see him.

“Usually we begin with medicines, eye drops, that can control the pressure," Quinn said. "Sometimes we suggest a laser treatment for people that are good candidates for it and then there are more invasive surgical procedures that I specialize in as well.”

Quinn said glaucoma is a progressive disease with no cure. So, if you have a family history of the condition and you are 40 and over, it might be time for an eye exam.

“Usually we can control it, especially if it’s caught early by reducing the pressure in the eye,” Quinn said.

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