Since this month is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to stress the importance of being aware of the indications of glaucoma. Glaucoma is the term for a group of progressive ocular disorders that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which may lead to blindness. If not treated, the disease often first causes peripheral vision loss and ultimately ends up causing a complete loss of vision. Glaucoma is considered to be the leading reason for preventable vision loss and more than sixty million people around the world have the vision threatening condition.
One of the leading sources of glaucoma is considered to be increased pressure in the eye referred to as intraocular pressure. As the pressure increases, this damages the optic nerve which is responsible for delivering signals to the brain. When this system doesn't work normally, eyesight is impaired. Regrettably, optic nerve damage is typically permanent.
The most dangerous thing about glaucoma is that unlike other causes of vision loss, it is asymptomatic until irreparable damage is done.
It is for this reason that glaucoma has obtained the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you asking: is it possible to safeguard against an illness which has no obvious symptoms?
Prompt diagnosis of the disease is essential for effective management. Although glaucoma risk is universal, specific populations are at higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include those over 45 years old, those with family members who have had glaucoma, a predisposition towards diabetes, or other eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, eye injuries or elevated intraocular pressure.
You can learn more about glaucoma if you find a qualified optometrist. There are a number of diagnostic eye evaluations relied on by doctors to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Particularly if you are over 45 or have one of the other risk factors named above, make sure to plan for a comprehensive eye examination on an annual basis.
Unfortunately for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. That being said, the loss of sight caused by damage to the optic nerve can be prevented by early diagnosis and treatment. Don't delay! Contact Williams Eye Care today, for annual glaucoma screening.