January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month!
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness. It’s actually a group of diseases that damages the eye’s optic nerve. National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in January, reminds all of us to get regular eye exams and show support for those suffering.
Types of this disease include: open–angle glaucoma, which has no symptoms and causes peripheral eyesight to slowly diminish; angle–closure glaucoma, where pressure on the iris interferes with fluid draining; and low–tension glaucoma, which actually occurs without elevated pressure on the eye. For more about each of these please visit: https://nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts
If detected early, before noticeable vision loss occurs, glaucoma can usually be controlled and severe vision loss can often be prevented. Vision that is lost from glaucoma cannot be restored.
Anyone can get glaucoma, but those at higher risk include:
- African Americans over age 40
- Everyone over age 60, especially Hispanics/Latinos
- People with a family history of the disease
There’s currently no way to restore vision lost from glaucoma. It is a silent disease that takes away something that is extremely important in a person’s life – their vision. The main objective of this month is to keep people in the know about this disease. Not everyone is aware of how easily they can be affected. Spread the word this month and speak with your eye care professional to learn more.