Since this month is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we would like to spread the word about the importance of knowing about the threat of glaucoma. Glaucoma is the term for a category of progressive ocular diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve, which may cause a permanent loss of vision. If uncontrolled, glaucoma often first causes peripheral vision loss until it eventually results in a complete loss of vision. Glaucoma is thought to be the number one cause of preventable vision loss and, according to estimates, over 60 million people worldwide are afflicted with it.
A significant source of glaucoma is thought to be elevated pressure around the optic nerve. As pressure around the eye is elevated, this causes damage to the optic nerve which transmits messages to the vision centers in the brain. When this pathway is damaged eyesight is affected. At the current time, optic nerve damage is typically untreatable.
Glaucoma is especially dangerous because unlike other causes of blindness, there are no indicators that serve as a warning until it may be too late.
This is why glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you wondering: how is it possible to protect yourself against an illness which has no obvious symptoms?
Early detection of glaucoma is necessary for effective management. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, certain groups are more at risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45, anyone with family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or known eye problems such as high intraocular pressure.
The best way to detect glaucoma is to find a qualified optometrist. There are several diagnostic eye tests employed to check intraocular pressure and the risk of glaucoma. Especially if you are 45 or older or know that you are at risk, make sure to schedule a routine eye examination annually.
Unfortunately for the most part glaucoma is not preventable. However the deterioration of sight can be slowed by a reliable diagnosis and proper treatment. Don't delay! Contact Professional Eyecare today, for an annual screening for glaucoma.