McFarland Eye Care at Pine Bluff will offer free glaucoma screenings Friday, Feb. 2. Participants will be seen by a doctor on the McFarland staff. Anyone interested in this service should call 870-536-4100 to schedule an appointment.

McFarland is offering the free screenings in conjunction with National Glaucoma Awareness month. Screenings will provide a quick way for anyone to learn if they have signs of glaucoma which indicate the need for additional medical attention, according to a news release.

Glaucoma affects more than four million Americans, and is the second leading cause of blindness in this country. It is the leading cause of preventable blindness. More than 35,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

“There are no early warning signs. Once vision problems begin, the damage cannot be corrected,” Dr. Evan Newbolt, said in the release. “Glaucoma is not curable, but it can be managed if caught in time. That’s why early detection is so critical.”

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve which leads to progressive loss of vision.

“It is often referred to as the “sneak thief of sight” because the progression is gradual, and many people do not realize they have glaucoma until vision loss has occurred. Glaucoma can occur to any person, at any age,” according to the release.

Certain groups who are at higher risk for this disease including: African Americans, those with a family history of glaucoma, those who have diabetes, persons over the age of 60.

“We hope that our free screenings will increase awareness so that these people can be diagnosed and receive the treatment they need - before precious vision is lost,” Newbolt said.

Details: or 536-4100.