January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is called “the thief of sight” because there are no symptoms before sight is lost. There are more than 3 million people with glaucoma in the United States today. The National Eye Institute projects that this number will rise to nearly 43 million by the year 2030! January has been named National Glaucoma Awareness Month to help raise awareness and educate the public about this sneaky “thief of sight” disease!

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Its is more prevalent amongst African American and Latino populations who are six to eight times more common than Caucasians. Over 60 million people worldwide have glaucoma and experts estimate that over half do not realize they have it. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million are actually blind due to glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that will gradually steal your eyesight without warning. The most common forms of glaucoma affect elderly people of all ages. Vision loss is caused by damage to optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for carrying images to the brain from the eye. There are no cures for glaucoma but medication and surgery can help to slow or prevent further vision loss. Treatment will depend upon the type of glaucoma along with other factors but early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease.

Why Regular Eye Exams are Important

According to the World Health Organization, Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. In its most common form there are no symptoms. Peripheral or side vision loss is where it begins so you may not notice until you have significant loss.

The best way to protect yourself and your sight is to have regular annual comprehensive eye examinations. If you have Glaucoma, begin treatment immediately.

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National Eye Institute

WHO International

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