As this month marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to stress the importance of knowing about the threat of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a class of progressive ocular disorders that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which can be a precursor to a permanent loss of vision. If uncontrolled, the disease often first causes peripheral vision loss until it eventually results in a complete loss of vision. It is thought to be the leading cause of avoidable vision loss and statistics show that over 60 million individuals around the world are afflicted with it.
A significant cause of glaucoma is thought to be increased pressure in the eye referred to as intraocular pressure. The increase in pressure around the eye damages the optic nerve which transports signals from the eye to the vision centers in the brain. In instances where this pathway is damaged eyesight is affected. Regrettably, optic nerve damage is typically permanent.
The most dangerous characteristic of glaucoma is that distinct from other forms of vision loss, there are no indicators that serve as a warning until vision is already lost.
This is why glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you wondering: how can one diagnose an illness which has no obvious symptoms?
Prompt detection of glaucoma is necessary for effective care. While everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, particular populations have a higher risk than others. Major risk factors for glaucoma may include adults over 45 years of age, anyone having a family history of glaucoma, a predisposition towards diabetes, or known eye problems such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are several different classes of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. As a general rule, both eyes are affected, but the disease can advance more rapidly in one eye than in the other.
An effective way to detect glaucoma is to speak to an optometrist. There are several diagnostic eye evaluations used to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Particularly if you are over 45 or know that you are at risk, it's important to plan for a routine eye examination annually.
The fact is most kinds of glaucoma cannot be prevented. Nevertheless the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision may be stopped by a reliable diagnosis and prompt treatment. Don't delay! Contact Hopewell and Lambertville Eye Associates today, for a yearly glaucoma screening.