Since this month marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to stress the importance of early detection of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is the term for a class of progressive eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, which can be a precursor to loss of central vision and eventual blindness. If not treated, the disease often first shows up as vision loss in the periphery of the visual field and ultimately ends up causing total blindness. It is considered to be the primary reason for preventable blindness and according to estimates, over 60 million individuals worldwide have the vision threatening condition.
One of the main causes of glaucoma is known to be increased pressure around the optic nerve called intraocular pressure. As pressure around the eye increases, this damages the optic nerve which delivers signals from the eye to the brain. In instances where this pathway is damaged eyesight is impaired. At the current time, damage to the optic nerve is usually irreversible.
The most threatening fact about glaucoma is that unlike other causes of vision loss, there are no indicators that serve as a warning until irreparable damage is done.
It is because of the disease's subtle nature glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you asking: is it possible to prevent an illness which has no obvious symptoms?
Prompt detection of glaucoma is required for effective care. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, particular populations are more at risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45 years of age, those having family members who have had glaucoma, diabetes, or known eye problems such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are different categories of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. The condition usually affects both eyes, but the disease may progress more rapidly in one of the eyes.
You can learn more about glaucoma if you speak to your optometrist. There are several diagnostic eye evaluations used to assess intraocular pressure and the risk of glaucoma. Especially if you are over 45 or know that you are at risk, you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year.
It is unfortunate that for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. However the optic nerve damage and loss of vision may be prevented by timely diagnosis and quick treatment. Don't delay! Contact Fox Eye Care Group today, for a yearly glaucoma screening.