Health Issues For Hispanic Americans.

Eye Health Issues

Hispanic American

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that destroys sharp, central vision. Approximately one in 10 Hispanic Americans is at risk for developing advanced AMD. Extended exposure to UV rays is a risk factor in this and other eye health conditions.

Cataracts is an eye disease that involves the clouding of the outer lens of the eye, and is the leading cause of visual impairment among Hispanic adults. Cataract is three times more common in Hispanics vs. Caucasians and African Americans. Extended exposure to UV rays is a risk factor.

Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that gradually damages the optic nerve and causes vision loss. Open-angle glaucoma – caused by rising pressure in the eye – is the most common cause of blindness among Hispanics.

Pterygium, or the thickening of the outer coating of the eye, is more common among Hispanics. Risk factors include extended exposure to UV rays and wind.

General Health Issues

Diabetes, which can be detected through an eye exam, can lead to many problems throughout the body and eye. Early signs of vision problems may include blurred vision – and over time, diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy. One in 10 Hispanics has diabetes, which is three times the rate of the general population. As many as 95% of Hispanics have type 2 diabetes.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can sometimes be detected through an eye exam. It can lead to hypertensive retinopathy, which causes blurry vision and even blindness. High blood pressure affects 29% of Hispanics.

Despite their higher risks, just four out of 10 Hispanics have had an eye exam within the past year. Additionally, only 3.7% of Hispanics know that UV can damage their eyes.

The information seen here is for reference purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to diagnose or prescribe any specific treatment(s). For all questions and concerns about your vision, eye health and potential eye problems, please consult an eyecare professional.

Special thanks to the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, for source material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the NEI/NIH website.

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