As January winds down, we at ilumin want you to know that January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Have you had your eyes checked for it recently? If not, you should.
Glaucoma is the second only to cataracts as the leading cause of blindness in the world. More than 2.2 million Americans have been diagosed with glaucoma, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates 3.3 million could be affected by it in 2020.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye various disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve, which carries information from the eye to the brain. As the optic nerve begins to deteriorate, vision loss occurs, and begins to progress over time. It’s normally caused by increased fluid pressure in the eye, and causes gradually progressive vision loss, especially in the peripheral portions of the visual field. Because of this, and the lack of other early symptoms, it is sometimes called the "silent thief of sight". Any vision loss due to glaucoma is irreversible, but it can usually be detected and treatment started in order to prevent further damage. Treatment usually involves prescription eyedrops, but may include oral medication, laser treatment, or surgery if needed.
Visit your eye doctor regularly, and be sure to make your appointment soon if you’re overdue. Early detection of a vision problem is always best, especially in the case of glaucoma, so be sure to ask your ilumin doctor about your risk factors and prevention at your next appointment.