As this month is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we are here to emphasize the importance of recognizing the threat of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a class of eye diseases that damage the eye's optic nerve, which can lead to a permanent loss of vision. When uncontrolled, the disease often initially causes peripheral vision loss until it eventually results in a complete loss of vision. It is the number one reason for preventable vision loss and, according to estimates, over 60 million people around the world suffer from it.
One of the primary causes of glaucoma is known to be elevated pressure in the eye called intraocular pressure. The elevation in pressure causes damage to the optic nerve which transmits messages from the eye to the brain. When this system is damaged vision is affected. Regrettably, damage to the optic nerve can't be fixed.
The most dangerous thing about glaucoma is that distinct from other forms of blindness, it is an asymptomatic condition until vision is already lost.
It is because of the disease's subtle nature glaucoma is described as the "sneak thief of sight." The quandary is is it possible to detect a disease which has no obvious symptoms?
Early detection of the disease is important to effective care. Although glaucoma risk is universal, certain groups are more at risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma may include those over 45, those having a family history of glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are a few different categories of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. As a rule of thumb, both eyes are affected, but the disease can progress more rapidly in one eye than in the other.
To learn more about glaucoma speak to an optometrist. There are a number of diagnostic eye tests used to assess intraocular pressure and the risk of glaucoma. Especially if you are over 45 or know that you are at risk, make sure to book a comprehensive eye examination at least once a year.
The truth is that for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. That being said, the optic nerve damage and loss of vision can be slowed by a reliable diagnosis and treatment. Contact "Dr. Steve Jacobs, Optometrist" today, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.