Since January has been designated National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we are here to review the importance of knowing about the threat of glaucoma. Glaucoma is the term for a group of progressive ocular disorders that damage the eye's optic nerve, which may cause a loss of vision. When untreated, the disease often first results in peripheral vision loss and then moves to a complete loss of vision. It is the primary reason for preventable loss of vision and according to estimates, over 60 million people worldwide are afflicted with it.
One of the leading sources of glaucoma is considered to be elevated pressure in the eye. As the pressure increases, this damages the optic nerve which delivers signals to the vision centers in the brain. When this system doesn't work as needed, vision is affected. Unfortunately, damage to the optic nerve is typically irreversible.
Glaucoma is especially dangerous because unlike other forms of vision impairment, it is asymptomatic until it may be too late.
This is why glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you wondering: how can one detect an illness which lacks any obvious symptoms?
Prompt diagnosis of glaucoma is essential for effective management. While everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, specific populations are more at risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include anyone over 45, those with a family history of glaucoma, diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
To learn more about glaucoma find a qualified optometrist. There are a number of diagnostic eye tests used to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Particularly if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, you should plan for a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis.
Unfortunately most types of glaucoma are not preventable. However the deterioration of sight can be prevented by a reliable diagnosis and prompt treatment. Don't delay! Contact Wesson-Mothershed Eye Center now, for an annual screening for glaucoma.