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National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Since January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to review the importance of regular screening for glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of progressive ocular diseases that damage the optic nerve, which can cause a loss of vision. If uncontrolled, the disease often first results in peripheral vision loss and ultimately ends up causing a complete loss of vision. Glaucoma is the primary reason for preventable loss of vision and according to estimates, over 60 million people worldwide suffer from it.

The main source of glaucoma is considered to be an increase in pressure around the optic nerve referred to as intraocular pressure. The increase in pressure around the eye causes damage to the optic nerve which transmits messages to the vision centers in the brain. When this system is damaged vision is affected. Unfortunately, damage to the optic nerve can't be corrected.

Glaucoma is especially threatening because distinct from other forms of blindness, there are no indicators that serve as a warning until it may be too late.
This is why glaucoma is described as the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you wondering is it possible to prevent an illness which is asymptomatic?

Early detection of glaucoma is very important to effective treatment. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, certain populations have a higher risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma can include anyone over 45 years of age, individuals having family members who have had glaucoma, a predisposition to diabetes, or other eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, eye injuries or elevated intraocular pressure.

There are different kinds of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. The condition usually affects both eyes, however the disease can progress more rapidly in one eye than in the other.

The best way to detect glaucoma is to find a qualified optometrist. There are a series of diagnostic eye evaluations relied on by doctors to assess the beginnings of glaucoma. Particularly if you are over 45 or know that you are at risk, it's important to schedule a routine eye examination annually.

Unfortunately for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. However the optic nerve damage and loss of vision can be slowed by a reliable diagnosis and prompt treatment. Contact Professional Vision today, for an annual glaucoma screening.