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Standards Protect Your Vision during Glaucoma Awareness Month


January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, bringing attention to an ocular condition that is one of the leading causes of blindness for adults over the age of 60 and affects 60.5 million people around the globe. Standards can help you take precautions to reduce your risk of glaucoma, detect it in its early stages, and treat it if it becomes more advanced.

According to the Mayo Clinic, serious eye injuries can lead to glaucoma. Therefore, it's important to wear gear that will protect your eyes in scenarios where risks are present, like using power tools or playing certain sports. Many American National Standards (ANS) provide guidelines for eye protection, including:

Having high internal eye pressure, or intraocular pressure, is a risk factor for glaucoma. Regular, comprehensive eye exams that test eye pressure can determine if you are at risk for glaucoma, or catch it in its early stages so that treatment can begin.. Tonometers, which measure intraocular pressure, are addressed in an international standard of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO 8612:2009, Ophthalmic instruments - Tonometers, specifies minimum requirements and the design compliance procedure for these tools. It was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 172, Optics and photonics, subcommittee (SC) 7, Ophthalmic optics and instruments. The ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for this TC is the Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council (OEOSC), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

While damage from glaucoma can't be reversed, treatment can slow the disease's progression, preserving vision for as long as possible. Treatment options include eye drops, oral medications, surgery, and laser treatment. Standards for ocular surgery help to assure the safety of this procedure. ISO 10936-2:2010, Optics and photonics - Operation microscopes - Part 2: Light hazard from operation microscopes used in ocular surgery, is a standard that provides guidelines applicable to many types of ophthalmic surgery. Developed by ISO TC 172, SC 7, it specifies requirements and test methods for optical radiation hazards from operation microscopes used during ophthalmic surgery.

Another standard, ANSI Z80.27-2014, Ophthalmics - Implantable Glaucoma Devices, has a scope specific to glaucoma treatment. This document applies to devices that are implanted in the eye to treat glaucoma by facilitating aqueous flow. It was developed by The Vision Council, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

Don't neglect your eye health - protect your vision with regular checkups and protective eye gear, and speak with your doctor about your risk of developing glaucoma.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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