Since January has been designated National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we would like to spread the word about the importance of early diagnosis of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a category of eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve, which may cause loss of central vision and eventual blindness. If uncontrolled, the damage often first results in vision loss in the periphery of the visual field until it eventually results in total blindness. It is thought to be the number one cause of preventable vision loss and over sixty million individuals worldwide suffer from it.
The main source of glaucoma is known to be increased pressure around the optic nerve referred to as intraocular pressure. As the pressure increases, this damages the optic nerve which is responsible for delivering messages to the brain. When this system is damaged vision is impaired. Regrettably, optic nerve damage can't be corrected.
The most dangerous characteristic of glaucoma is that distinct from other forms of blindness, there are no symptoms that warn of the existence of the condition until it may be too late.
It is due to this that glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you wondering how: is it possible to diagnose an illness which lacks any tell-tale symptoms?
Prompt diagnosis of glaucoma is necessary for successful treatment. While everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, particular groups are more at risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma can include adults over 45, those with family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or known eye conditions such as high intraocular pressure.
There are a few different types of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. Both eyes are usually affected, although the disease has been known to advance more rapidly in one of the eyes.
The best way to detect glaucoma is to speak to an eye doctor. There are a series of diagnostic eye tests used to assess the beginnings of glaucoma. Especially if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, make sure to schedule a routine eye exam at least once a year.
Unfortunately most forms of glaucoma are not preventable. Nevertheless the deterioration of sight can be stopped by timely diagnosis and treatment. Contact Lakeside Vision and Optical today, for a yearly glaucoma screening.