As this month is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we would like to spread the word about the importance of recognizing the threat of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of progressive ocular disorders that damage the optic nerve, which can lead to loss of central vision and eventual blindness. When untreated, glaucoma often first causes peripheral vision loss and then moves to total blindness. It is thought to be the leading cause of preventable vision loss and, according to estimates, over sixty million people around the world have the disease.
The primary cause of glaucoma is known to be elevated pressure around the optic nerve called intraocular pressure. As the pressure increases, this causes damage to the optic nerve which transmits messages from the eye to the vision centers in the brain. When this pathway is damaged eyesight is affected. Regrettably, optic nerve damage is typically irreversible.
The most dangerous thing about glaucoma is that distinct from other forms of vision impairment, there are no symptoms until it may be too late.
This is why glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." The quandary is: how can one detect an illness which is asymptomatic?
Prompt detection of glaucoma is required for effective care. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, certain populations are at higher risk than others. Serious risk factors for glaucoma may include anyone over 45 years of age, those with a family history of glaucoma, individuals with a predisposition towards diabetes, or known eye problems such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are different kinds 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.
An effective way to detect glaucoma is to speak to an eye doctor. There are a series of diagnostic eye evaluations used to assess intraocular pressure and the risk of glaucoma. Especially if you are 45 or older or know that you are at risk, it's important to plan for a comprehensive eye examination at least once a year.
It is unfortunate that most types of glaucoma are not preventable. However the deterioration of sight may be stopped by a reliable diagnosis and prompt treatment. Don't delay! Contact Escondido Premier Eyecare now, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.