As January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to spread the word about the importance of knowing about the threat of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a class of ocular disorders that damage the eye's optic nerve, which can cause loss of central vision and eventual blindness. If untreated, glaucoma often initially results in peripheral vision loss and ultimately ends up causing total blindness. It is the primary cause of avoidable blindness and statistics show that over 60 million people worldwide suffer from the vision threatening condition.
A contributing source of glaucoma is known to be increased pressure around the optic nerve. As the pressure increases, this damages the optic nerve which delivers messages from the eye to the vision centers in the brain. In instances where this pathway doesn't function normally, vision is affected. Unfortunately, optic nerve damage is usually untreatable.
Glaucoma is particularly dangerous because distinct from other causes of blindness, it is an asymptomatic condition until it may be too late.
This is why glaucoma is known as the "sneak thief of sight." The problem is: how can a patient prevent an illness which has no obvious symptoms?
Early diagnosis of glaucoma is required for effective care. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, specific populations have a higher risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45 years of age, those with family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with a predisposition towards diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
You can learn more about glaucoma if you speak to your optometrist. There are several diagnostic eye examinations used to measure the beginnings of glaucoma. Particularly if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, you should plan for a routine eye exam on a yearly basis.
The truth is that for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. That being said, the optic nerve damage and loss of vision may be slowed by a reliable diagnosis and treatment. Don't delay! Contact ClearSight Optometry now, for your annual glaucoma screening.