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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 11, 2012

At A Glance

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is a disease characterized by gradual loss of vision and is difficult to detect. There may be no early warning signs but it can be discovered during a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and health care providers at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics encourage everyone, particularly those in high-risk groups, to have a comprehensive eye exam. Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but if diagnosed and treated early it can be controlled.

High-risk groups include: African Americans over age 40; everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans; those with a family history of the disease; and siblings of those diagnosed with glaucoma.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma has caused blindness in approximately 120,000 people in the United States, accounting for 9 to 12 percent of all cases of blindness.

More than 2.2 million Americans and over 60 million people worldwide have glaucoma.

For more information on glaucoma and services available at the UI Hospitals and Clinics Glaucoma Clinic, visit


Iowa residents can receive free radon test kits

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Cancer Information Service is giving away free radon test kits to Iowa residents this January. The free tests are available thanks to support from the Iowa Cancer Consortium. To receive a free test kit, call 800-237-1225.

Radon, an odorless gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon gets into homes through cracks in the foundation, floors, and walls, and is most dangerous when it stays in an enclosed place.

Iowa has the highest average radon concentrations in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, so it is a good idea to have your home tested for radon. If the level is too high, there are ways to vent your home to reduce the radon level.

--Test your home using both short-term and long-term tests. Radon amounts can change monthly, so do both types of tests.

--Do not rely on neighbors' results. Results can vary widely from house to house.

--Test your home every two years, even if you have a mitigation system.

For more information, contact Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Cancer Information Service at the University of Iowa at 800-237-1225 or visit online at


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at

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