Since January marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we would like to stress the importance of knowing about the indications of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a category of ocular diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve, which may cause a permanent loss of vision. If not treated, the damage often initially results in vision loss in the periphery of the field of vision and then moves to total blindness. It is considered to be the leading cause of avoidable vision loss and statistics show that over 60 million individuals worldwide are afflicted with the vision threatening condition.
A significant reason for the development of glaucoma is thought to be increased pressure around the optic nerve known as intraocular pressure. The increase in pressure around the eye damages the optic nerve which transports signals from the eye to the brain. When this system doesn't work as needed, eyesight is impaired. At the current time, optic nerve damage can't be corrected.
Glaucoma is especially threatening because unlike other forms of vision impairment, there are no indicators that serve as a warning until vision is already lost.
It is for this reason that glaucoma is known as the "sneak thief of sight." The question is is it possible to protect yourself against an illness which is asymptomatic?
Prompt diagnosis of the disease is essential for effective treatment. While everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, specific populations are more at risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma can include anyone over 45, anyone with family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with a predisposition to diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are many different types of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. As a general rule, both eyes are affected, although the disease may progress more rapidly in one eye than in the other.
The best way to detect glaucoma is to speak to an eye doctor. There are a series of diagnostic eye tests relied on by doctors to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Especially if you are over 45 or have one of the other risk factors named above, make sure to book a routine eye examination at least once a year.
Unfortunately for the most part glaucoma is not preventable. However the optic nerve damage and loss of vision may be halted by a reliable diagnosis and treatment. Contact Dr. Ty J. Miller O.D. Inc today, for a yearly glaucoma screening.