As January marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to spread the word about the importance of being aware of the threat of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a category of ocular diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to blindness. If untreated, the damage often first shows up as peripheral vision loss until it eventually results in total blindness. Glaucoma is the number one cause of preventable vision loss and, according to estimates, over 60 million people around the world have the disease.
A significant source of glaucoma is known to be increased pressure around the optic nerve called intraocular pressure. As pressure around the eye is elevated, this damages the optic nerve which is responsible for delivering messages to the brain. In instances where this system is damaged eyesight is affected. Regrettably, damage to the optic nerve is usually permanent.
The most dangerous fact about glaucoma is that distinct from other causes of vision impairment, there are no symptoms that warn of the progression of the condition until irreparable damage is done.
This is why glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you wondering is it possible to detect an illness which is asymptomatic?
Prompt detection of the disease is required for effective management. While everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, specific groups have a higher risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma may include anyone over 45, anyone with a family history of glaucoma, diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are several different kinds of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. As a rule of thumb, both eyes are affected, however the disease can advance more quickly in one eye than in the other.
To learn more about glaucoma speak to an eye doctor. There are several diagnostic eye examinations employed to assess damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Particularly if you are over 45 or know that you are at risk, you should schedule a comprehensive eye examination at least once a year.
It is unfortunate that most types of glaucoma cannot be prevented. That being said, the optic nerve damage and loss of vision may be slowed by early diagnosis and quick treatment. Contact Dr. Solomon and Associates today, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.