Since this month is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we are here to spread the word about the importance of knowing about the indications of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which may be a precursor to irreversible blindness. When uncontrolled, the damage often initially shows up as peripheral vision loss and ultimately ends up causing total blindness. It is considered to be the leading reason for preventable blindness and according to estimates, over 60 million people around the world have it.
A significant cause of glaucoma is thought to be an increase in pressure around the optic nerve. As the pressure increases, this damages the optic nerve which delivers signals to the vision centers in the brain. In instances where this pathway doesn't work normally, vision is affected. At the current time, damage to the optic nerve can't be reversed.
The most dangerous fact about glaucoma is that unlike other causes of blindness, there are no symptoms until irreparable damage is done.
It is because of the disease's subtle nature glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of sight." The question is: how does one prevent an illness which is asymptomatic?
Prompt diagnosis of glaucoma is required for effective management. While glaucoma risk is universal, specific groups have a higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45, those having a family history of glaucoma, individuals with a predisposition to diabetes, or other eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, eye injuries or high intraocular pressure.
There are different kinds of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. As a general rule, both eyes are affected, but the disease can progress more quickly in one eye than in the other.
An effective way to detect glaucoma is to speak to an eye doctor. There are several diagnostic eye tests used to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Especially if you are over 45 or know that you are at risk, make sure to schedule a comprehensive eye examination annually.
The truth is that for the most part glaucoma is not preventable. That being said, the optic nerve damage and loss of vision can be stopped by timely diagnosis and treatment. Contact Eyexam Associates P.A. today, for your annual screening for glaucoma.