January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month and is an important time to spread the word about the vision stealing disease. Glaucoma is a rising epidemic as it affects nearly three million people in just the United States and accounts for up to 12% of all cases of blindness. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steals your vision. The disease is nicknamed “the sneak thief of sight” as it has no symptoms and once your vision is lost, it is permanent. Early detection is vital to stopping the progression of this disease. With a proper diagnosis medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss.
As stated by leading Ophthalmologists and the American Academy of Ophthalmologist there are several groups that are at higher risk for Glaucoma.
People whom are:
Over the age of 60,
Siblings of persons diagnosed with glaucoma
Are of African, Hispanic or Asian heritage
If you have high eye pressure
Have had an eye injury
Individuals who are severely nearsighted or farsighted
If you have high blood pressure or poor blood circulation
If you qualify for more than one of these risk factors you may have a heightened risk of Glaucoma and should speak with an Ophthalmologist.
How to prevent symptoms of Glaucoma
Early diagnosis Glaucoma is vital and periodic comprehensive eye examination with an Ophthalmologist will help. If recognized in the early stages Glaucoma medications and surgery can slow the progression of the disease. For further research refer to the following websites.
The Mayo Clinic
The American Academy of Ophthalmology
Written by: Karlie Kudrna