Don’t let Glaucoma steal your vision! Known as “the sneak thief of sight” due to the disease’s ability to cause of blindness with little or no symptoms before hand, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Glaucoma affects over an estimated 4 million Americans, and half of those affected may be unaware they have the disease. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, a time to spread the word about this sight stealer!
Knowing more about Glaucoma is the start towards prevention. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve, causing disconnect from the eye to the brain. This disconnection leads to the appearance of blind spots in vision, leading to full blindness if not treated. There are several types of Glaucoma that can affect your vision but the two most common types are open-angle and angle-closure. These are indicated by an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases.
Glaucoma develops slowly, with no initial symptoms. Glaucoma can take 40 percent of your vision without you noticing any difference, primarily affecting the elderly and middle-aged individuals. Those at highest risk are people over the age of 60, diabetics and the severely nearsighted. Among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is more prevalent. As the population ages, forecasters suggest the number of Americans with Glaucoma is expected to rise exponentially in the next 20 years.
There is no cure for glaucoma—yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma among other factors. If glaucoma is detected early enough, eye drops or surgery can slow and even stop vision loss.
The most effective way to protect against glaucoma is to get an annual comprehensive eye examination. A dilated eye exam can help prevent vision loss caused by glaucoma. Take control of your health in the New Year. Stay on the lookout for unusual vision patterns, and make sure you don’t skip your annual eye exam!
Everyone can help spread the word about Glaucoma. Talk to your family and friends, especially those at risk, about the disease and any symptoms they might be experiencing. Remind them to schedule yearly eye exams with an optometrist. No matter your age, sex, race and how unlikely you think your chances are, don’t take this disease lightly. Don’t allow glaucoma to sneak up on you, or your loved ones.
Contact us at (414) 727-5888 or schedule online to setup a comprehensive eye exam with Metro Eye today.