Since this month is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to stress the importance of being aware of the indications of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a class of progressive eye diseases that damage the eye's optic nerve, which can be a precursor to irreversible blindness. When untreated, the damage often first results in vision loss in the periphery of the field of vision until it eventually results in total blindness. Glaucoma is considered to be the primary cause of avoidable vision loss and over sixty million individuals worldwide have the disease.
A contributing reason for the development of glaucoma is thought to be increased pressure around the optic nerve. The elevation in pressure damages the optic nerve which transports signals to the vision centers in the brain. When this system is damaged vision is impaired. Regrettably, damage to the optic nerve is typically permanent.
Glaucoma is especially dangerous because unlike other forms of vision impairment, there are no symptoms that warn of the progression of the condition until irreparable damage is done.
It is for this reason that glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you asking: is it possible to safeguard against an illness which lacks any obvious symptoms?
Prompt detection of glaucoma is required for effective care. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, particular populations are more at risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma may include those over 45 years of age, those having family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with a predisposition to diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are different types of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. Both eyes are usually affected, but the disease may advance more quickly in one of the eyes.
To learn more about glaucoma speak to an eye doctor. There are several diagnostic eye tests used to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Especially if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, it's important to book a routine eye exam on a yearly basis.
The fact is for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. However the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision may be slowed by early diagnosis and proper treatment. Don't delay! Contact Hooks Eye Associates today, for a yearly glaucoma screening.