As this month has been designated National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to emphasize the importance of being aware of the indications of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a class of progressive ocular disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to loss of central vision and eventual blindness. If not treated, the damage often initially results in peripheral vision loss and then moves to total blindness. It is the number one reason for avoidable blindness and statistics show that over 60 million people around the world suffer from the vision threatening condition.
The primary source of glaucoma is considered to be elevated pressure in the eye referred to as intraocular pressure. The increase in pressure around the eye damages the optic nerve which is responsible for delivering signals from the eye to the vision centers in the brain. When this system doesn't function as needed, eyesight is affected. At the current time, optic nerve damage can't be fixed.
Glaucoma is particularly dangerous because unlike other forms of blindness, there are no indicators that serve as a warning until irreparable damage is done.
It is due to this that glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of sight." The question is: how does one prevent a disease which is asymptomatic?
Early diagnosis of glaucoma is essential for successful treatment. Although glaucoma risk is universal, particular groups have a higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45 years of age, anyone with family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with a predisposition to diabetes, or other eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, eye injuries or high intraocular pressure.
There are many different types of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. As a rule of thumb, both eyes are affected, although the disease can progress more quickly in one eye than in the other.
You can learn more about glaucoma if you contact an optometrist. There are several diagnostic eye evaluations 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 book a routine eye examination on a yearly basis.
The truth is that for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. That being said, the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision may be halted by a reliable diagnosis and proper treatment. Contact Pearson Eyecare Group now, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.