As January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we are here to spread the word about the importance of being aware of the indications of glaucoma. Glaucoma is the term for a group of progressive ocular diseases that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which can lead to a permanent loss of vision. If untreated, glaucoma often first causes vision loss in the periphery of the field of vision until it eventually results in total blindness. It is the number one reason for avoidable blindness and statistics show that over 60 million individuals worldwide have it.
One of the main causes of glaucoma is known to be an increase in pressure around the optic nerve known as intraocular pressure. As pressure around the eye increases, this damages the optic nerve which transports signals to the brain. When this pathway doesn't function normally, vision is affected. Regrettably, damage to the optic nerve is typically permanent.
Glaucoma is especially dangerous because unlike other causes of vision loss, there are no signs that indicate the existence of the condition until irreparable damage is done.
It is due to this that glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you wondering: how does one safeguard against a condition which is asymptomatic?
Prompt detection of glaucoma is necessary for effective care. While glaucoma risk is universal, certain groups are at higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include anyone over 45 years old, individuals with family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or known eye problems such as high intraocular pressure.
There are a few different kinds of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. As a general rule, both eyes are affected, however the disease can advance more rapidly in one eye than in the other.
To learn more about glaucoma speak to an optometrist. There are a series of diagnostic eye examinations relied on by doctors to assess the beginnings of glaucoma. Particularly if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, it's important to plan for a routine eye examination at least once a year.
It is unfortunate that most types of glaucoma cannot be prevented. However the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision can be halted by early diagnosis and proper treatment. Don't delay! Contact Maison Optique Vision Center today, for a yearly glaucoma screening.