As January marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to stress the importance of being aware of the threat of glaucoma. Glaucoma is the term for a class of eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve, which may be a precursor to loss of central vision and eventual blindness. If not treated, the damage often first results in peripheral vision loss and then moves to a complete loss of vision. It is the leading cause of preventable blindness and statistics show that over sixty million people worldwide are afflicted with the disease.
One of the leading causes of glaucoma is known to be increased pressure around the optic nerve. The elevation in pressure damages the optic nerve which is responsible for delivering signals from the eye to the vision centers in the brain. In instances where this system is damaged eyesight is affected. At the current time, optic nerve damage can't be corrected.
The most threatening fact about glaucoma is that unlike other forms of blindness, there are no indicators that serve as a warning until irreparable damage is done.
It is because of the disease's subtle nature glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you asking: how is it possible to prevent a condition which lacks any obvious symptoms?
Prompt detection of glaucoma is the key to effective treatment. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, particular groups are at higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include those over 45 years of age, anyone having family members who have had glaucoma, diabetes, or known eye conditions such as high intraocular pressure.
To learn more about glaucoma speak to an optometrist. There are a number of diagnostic eye tests relied on by doctors to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Particularly if you are 45 or older or know that you are at risk, it's important to plan for a comprehensive eye examination annually.
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 stopped by early diagnosis and proper treatment. Don't delay! Contact Dr. Polly Hendricks and Associates now, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.