Since January marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we are here to emphasize the importance of early detection of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a category of progressive ocular disorders that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which can lead to a permanent loss of vision. When untreated, the damage often initially shows up as vision loss in the periphery of the field of vision and ultimately ends up causing a complete loss of vision. Glaucoma is thought to be the primary cause of avoidable blindness and statistics show that over 60 million people around the world have it.
The primary source of glaucoma is thought to be increased pressure in the eye referred to as intraocular pressure. As pressure around the eye increases, this damages the optic nerve which transports messages to the vision centers in the brain. In instances where this system is damaged vision is impaired. Regrettably, optic nerve damage is usually untreatable.
Glaucoma is especially dangerous because distinct from other causes of vision impairment, there are no signs that warn of the existence of the condition until vision is already lost.
It is because of the disease's subtle nature glaucoma has obtained the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you asking: how can a patient safeguard against an illness which lacks any tell-tale symptoms?
Prompt diagnosis of glaucoma is necessary for effective treatment. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, particular populations are more at risk than others. Major risk factors for glaucoma can include anyone over 45, individuals having family members who have had glaucoma, diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are many different kinds of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. The condition usually affects both eyes, but the disease can progress more rapidly in one of the eyes.
An effective way to detect glaucoma is to find a qualified eye doctor. There are several diagnostic eye evaluations relied on by doctors to check the beginnings of glaucoma. Particularly if you are over 45 or know that you are at risk, make sure to book a routine eye exam annually.
It is unfortunate that most forms of glaucoma are not preventable. Nevertheless the loss of sight caused by damage to the optic nerve can be slowed by early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Don't delay! Contact Walter Shurminsky O.D. now, for a yearly glaucoma screening.