January is Glaucoma Awareness Month
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning. Although the most common forms primarily affect the middle-aged and the elderly, glaucoma can affect people of all ages.
Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric cable with over a million wires. It is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain.
There is no cure for glaucoma—yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma, among other factors. Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two main types of glaucoma: primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma. These are marked by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) or pressure inside the eye. This is called normal-tension glaucoma when optic nerve damage has occurred despite a normal IOP.
Secondary glaucoma refers to any case in which another disease causes or contributes to increased eye pressure, resulting in optic nerve damage and vision loss.
Those at higher risk include people of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent. Other high-risk groups include people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and severely nearsighted people.
Regular eye exams are Important
Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of glaucoma. The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get a comprehensive eye examination. Protect your eyesight by learning about your risk factors and making sure you’re keeping up with your regular eye exam schedule.
Help us spread awareness about this sight-stealing disease:
- Talk to friends and family about glaucoma. If you have glaucoma, don’t keep it a secret. Let your family members know.
- Refer a family member or friend to our office
- Don’t Be Blind Sided by Glaucoma … Schedule an appointment TODAY!
Your Healthy Eyesight Is Our Highest Priority!
References: Glaucoma Research Foundation and American Academy of Ophthalmology