Since January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we are here to review the importance of early diagnosis of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of progressive eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, which may be a precursor to a loss of vision. When not treated, glaucoma often initially shows up as peripheral vision loss until it eventually results in total blindness. It is thought to be the number one reason for avoidable loss of vision and an estimated sixty million individuals around the world are afflicted with the disease.
One of the main causes of glaucoma is thought to be an increase in pressure around the optic nerve. As the pressure increases, this causes damage to the optic nerve which delivers signals to the vision centers in the brain. In instances where this pathway is damaged eyesight is impaired. Unfortunately, damage to the optic nerve is typically permanent.
Glaucoma is particularly dangerous because distinct from other forms of vision loss, it is asymptomatic until irreparable damage is done.
It is due to this that glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." The problem is: how do you protect yourself against a disease which lacks any obvious symptoms?
Early diagnosis of the disease is important to effective care. While glaucoma risk is universal, particular populations are more at risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma may include adults over 45, anyone having a family history of glaucoma, a predisposition towards diabetes, or other eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, eye injuries or high intraocular pressure.
The best way to detect glaucoma is to speak to your optometrist. There are a number of diagnostic eye evaluations used 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, you should plan for a routine eye examination on an annual basis.
It is unfortunate that for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. Nevertheless the loss of sight caused by damage to the optic nerve can be prevented by early diagnosis and quick treatment. Don't delay! Contact InSight Eyecare Center today, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.