Since January marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we would like to review the importance of being aware of the indications of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a group of ocular disorders that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which can be a precursor to loss of central vision and eventual blindness. If untreated, the damage often first results in peripheral vision loss and ultimately ends up causing total blindness. Glaucoma is thought to be the primary reason for avoidable loss of vision and according to estimates, over sixty million people around the world are afflicted with the vision threatening condition.
A contributing cause of glaucoma is considered to be an increase in pressure around the optic nerve known as intraocular pressure. As pressure around the eye is elevated, this damages the optic nerve which delivers messages from the eye to the vision centers in the brain. When this pathway doesn't function normally, eyesight is affected. Regrettably, damage to the optic nerve can't be corrected.
The most dangerous fact about glaucoma is that unlike other causes of blindness, it is asymptomatic until vision is already lost.
It is because of the disease's subtle nature glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." The quandary is: how does one prevent a disease which is asymptomatic?
Prompt detection of glaucoma is essential for effective management. While everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, specific populations are at higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45, those having family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are a few different types of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. As a rule of thumb, both eyes are affected, although the disease has been known to advance more rapidly in one of the eyes.
An effective way to detect glaucoma is to speak to your eye doctor. There are a series of diagnostic eye examinations relied on by doctors to check intraocular pressure and the risk of glaucoma. Particularly if you are over 45 or have one of the other risk factors named above, you should book a routine eye exam annually.
Unfortunately most types of glaucoma are not preventable. Nevertheless the optic nerve damage and loss of vision may be prevented by a reliable diagnosis and prompt treatment. Don't delay! Contact Professional VisionCare today, for a yearly glaucoma screening.