Since January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to emphasize the importance of being aware of the threat of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is the term for a group of eye diseases that damage the eye's optic nerve, which can lead to a loss of vision. If untreated, glaucoma often first causes peripheral vision loss and then moves to a complete loss of vision. Glaucoma is considered to be the number one reason for preventable blindness and statistics show that over sixty million individuals around the world suffer from the vision threatening condition.
The leading cause of glaucoma is known to be an increase in pressure around the optic nerve called intraocular pressure. The increase in pressure around the eye damages the optic nerve which transports signals to the vision centers in the brain. When this system is damaged eyesight is impaired. Regrettably, optic nerve damage can't be fixed.
The most dangerous characteristic of glaucoma is that distinct from other forms of blindness, it is asymptomatic until vision is already lost.
It is due to this that glaucoma is known as the "sneak thief of sight." The question is: how is it possible to protect yourself against an illness which lacks any tell-tale symptoms?
Early diagnosis of the disease is necessary for effective treatment. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, specific groups are at higher risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45, anyone having family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are many different classes of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. As a rule of thumb, both eyes are affected, but the disease can advance more rapidly in one of the eyes.
You can learn more about glaucoma if you find a qualified optometrist. There are a series of diagnostic eye tests relied on by doctors to check the beginnings of glaucoma. Particularly if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, make sure to schedule a routine eye examination annually.
The truth is that most types of glaucoma cannot be prevented. However the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision may be slowed by early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Don't delay! Contact Eagle Vision now, for a yearly glaucoma screening.