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As January marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to emphasize the importance of early detection of glaucoma. Glaucoma is the term for a group of progressive ocular disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to blindness. When not treated, the disease often first results in peripheral vision loss until it eventually results in a complete loss of vision. It is the primary cause of preventable loss of vision and an estimated sixty million people worldwide suffer from the vision threatening condition.
The primary source of glaucoma is known to be elevated pressure around the optic nerve called intraocular pressure. As pressure around the eye is elevated, this damages the optic nerve which is responsible for delivering signals from the eye to the brain. In instances where this pathway is damaged vision is impaired. At the current time, optic nerve damage can't be fixed.
Glaucoma is especially threatening because distinct from other causes of vision impairment, there are no symptoms until vision is already lost.
It is for this reason that glaucoma has obtained the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." The question is: how can a patient detect a condition which lacks any tell-tale symptoms?
Prompt detection of the disease is important to effective care. While glaucoma risk is universal, specific groups are at higher risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma may include those over 45, those having family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or known eye problems such as high intraocular pressure.
There are a few different classes of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. As a rule of thumb, both eyes are affected, but the disease has been known to progress more rapidly in one of the eyes.
To learn more about glaucoma find a qualified optometrist. There are several diagnostic eye examinations relied on by doctors to assess the beginnings of glaucoma. Especially if you are over 45 or know that you are at risk, make sure to plan for a comprehensive eye examination at least once a year.
It is unfortunate that for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. Nevertheless the deterioration of sight may be stopped by timely diagnosis and proper treatment. Contact Family Eye Care now, for an annual screening for glaucoma.