As January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to spread the word about the importance of early diagnosis of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a class of progressive eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve, which may lead to blindness. If not treated, glaucoma often first shows up as peripheral vision loss and ultimately ends up causing total blindness. Glaucoma is the leading cause of avoidable vision loss and, according to estimates, over sixty million people around the world have it.
The primary cause of glaucoma is considered to be elevated pressure in the eye. The increase in pressure around the eye damages the optic nerve which transports messages from the eye to the vision centers in the brain. When this pathway doesn't work properly, eyesight is impaired. At the current time, damage to the optic nerve is typically irreversible.
The most threatening thing about glaucoma is that unlike other causes of vision loss, there are no signs that indicate the progression of the condition until it may be too late.
It is for this reason that glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of sight." The problem is, is it possible to prevent a condition which is asymptomatic?
Prompt detection of the disease is necessary for effective management. While glaucoma risk is universal, specific groups have a higher risk than others. Major risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45, individuals with family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or other eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, eye injuries or high intraocular pressure.
There are several different types of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. The condition usually affects both eyes, but the disease has been known to progress more rapidly in one of the eyes.
The best way to detect glaucoma is to contact an eye doctor. There are several diagnostic eye examinations used to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Particularly if you are over 45 or have one of the other risk factors named above, make sure to schedule a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis.
Unfortunately for the most part glaucoma is not preventable. Nevertheless the loss of sight caused by damage to the optic nerve may be slowed by early diagnosis and quick treatment. Don't delay! Contact Galbrecht Eye Care now, for a yearly glaucoma screening.