Since this month marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to stress the importance of recognizing the indications of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is the term for a class of progressive eye diseases that damage the eye's optic nerve, which can be a precursor to irreversible blindness. When uncontrolled, glaucoma often initially causes vision loss in the periphery of the visual field and then moves to a complete loss of vision. It is thought to be the leading cause of avoidable loss of vision and according to estimates, over 60 million individuals around the world have the disease.
The primary cause of glaucoma is known to be elevated pressure in the eye. The elevation in pressure damages the optic nerve which is responsible for delivering signals to the vision centers in the brain. When this system doesn't work as needed, vision is impaired. Unfortunately, damage to the optic nerve can't be reversed.
Glaucoma is particularly threatening because unlike other forms of blindness, there are no symptoms until it may be too late.
It is due to this that glaucoma is known as the "sneak thief of sight." The problem is: how does one safeguard against a condition which lacks any tell-tale symptoms?
Prompt detection of glaucoma is essential for successful treatment. While glaucoma risk is universal, specific populations have a higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma may include adults over 45 years old, individuals with family members who have had glaucoma, diabetes, or known eye problems such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are many different classes of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. Both eyes are usually affected, but the disease may advance more rapidly in one eye than in the other.
The best way to detect glaucoma is to speak to an optometrist. There are several diagnostic eye tests employed to check the beginnings of glaucoma. Especially if you are over 45 or know that you are at risk, make sure to book a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year.
It is unfortunate that most types of glaucoma are not preventable. However the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision may be halted by timely diagnosis and treatment. Don't delay! Contact Associates In Eyecare now, for your annual screening for glaucoma.