Donate to Glaucoma Research, Patient Care and Education

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause vision loss and eventual blindness. With glaucoma, the drainage mechanisms in the eye become blocked, leading to pressure that damages the optic nerve. The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma, which develops slowly over time. Other types of glaucoma include:

  • Closed-angle glaucoma: develops quickly with rapid vision loss
  • Low-tension glaucoma: pressure does not measure high
  • Childhood glaucoma
  • Congenital glaucoma

More than three million Americans have been diagnosed with glaucoma, making it the number one cause of preventable blindness in the United States. It is predicted that, with the aging population, four million individuals will be affected by glaucoma by 2030. Physicians and scientists at Northwestern Medicine need your support as they strive to accelerate research and to develop leading-edge treatments for this rapidly growing disease. By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help to advance this important work.

Research has identified several risk factors associated with glaucoma, including race, age, high blood pressure, diabetes and myopia. Genetics seem to play a large part in glaucoma, but the causes of this condition are still not fully understood. By donating to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will offer essential support to scientists at Northwestern Medicine as they study glaucoma and endeavor to find a cause for this debilitating disease.

There is not yet a cure for glaucoma, but early detection and effective treatment can slow the progression of this disease. Current treatments for glaucoma may include:

  • Medications: Ranging from those that reduce the fluidity of the eye to those that assist in draining excess fluid
  • Surgery: A new opening can be created to allow fluid to flow out of the eye
  • Laser surgery: Offers a less invasive procedure, with a faster recovery time
  • Tube shunt: Eye fluids are drained through a flexible plastic tube
  • Low-vision treatments: Adaptive devices help patients to regain the ability to enjoy daily life

Great progress is occurring at Northwestern Medicine, in terms of glaucoma research and treatment. Scientists have made a major breakthrough in glaucoma research by discovering the key pathways that show the mechanisms of the condition. Blindness is caused when the clogged fluid in the eye destroys retina cells and the optic nerve. Defective vessels, called Schlemm’s canals, are connected to this fluid build-up.  At Northwestern Medicine, scientists have discovered that missing “lock and key” proteins stop the production of Schlemm’s canals and, therefore, prevent proper drainage from occurring.

Because of this new finding, our scientists are now in the development stages of an eye drop that will grow bigger Schlemm’s canals, in order to drain clogged fluid and reduce pressure. Your generosity will ensure that this vital work continues.

Your Glaucoma Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Be a part of this exciting time in glaucoma research and treatment by making a generous donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, and by showing your support for the many scientists and physicians at Northwestern Medicine who work tirelessly to improve the lives of patients with glaucoma. Your gift will make it possible for these members of Northwestern Medicine team to continue their efforts to develop life-changing treatments for glaucoma and to prevent countless people from losing their sight.  

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