Since January marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we would like to spread the word about the importance of early diagnosis of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a category of progressive ocular diseases that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which can lead to blindness. When not treated, the damage often initially causes peripheral vision loss and then moves to a complete loss of vision. Glaucoma is the number one cause of preventable loss of vision and statistics show that over 60 million individuals around the world are afflicted with the vision threatening condition.
One of the main sources of glaucoma is known to be increased pressure around the optic nerve known as intraocular pressure. The increase in pressure around the eye causes damage to the optic nerve which transmits signals to the vision centers in the brain. When this system is damaged vision is impaired. Unfortunately, damage to the optic nerve can't be reversed.
The most threatening characteristic of glaucoma is that distinct from other forms of vision impairment, there are no indicators that serve as a warning until it may be too late.
It is for this reason that glaucoma is described as the "sneak thief of sight." The problem is: is it possible to safeguard against a disease which has no obvious symptoms?
Prompt detection of the disease is important to effective care. While everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, certain populations are at higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45, individuals having family members who have had glaucoma, diabetes, or known eye problems such as high intraocular pressure.
There are many different categories of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. As a rule of thumb, both eyes are affected, but the disease can advance more rapidly in one eye than in the other.
To learn more about glaucoma contact an optometrist. There are several diagnostic eye tests relied on by doctors to check damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Especially if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, it's important to book a routine eye examination annually.
Unfortunately most forms of glaucoma are not preventable. That being said, the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision may be prevented by timely diagnosis and prompt treatment. Contact Village Eye Care today, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.