Glaucoma is the most common cause of irreversible blindness. It’s known as the “sneak thief of sight” as often, people with glaucoma display no symptoms. Without regular tests to watch for signs of the disease, it can slip in unnoticed and rob you of up to 40% of your vision without you realizing it’s gone.
More than three million people in America have glaucoma today. By 2030, that number is expected to reach over four million people. That’s a 58% increase in people afflicted with the disease.
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. We at Valley Eyecare Center would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about this serious threat to your vision. Together, we can promote healthy vision and prevent the unnecessary loss of your sight should you develop this condition.
What is Glaucoma?
Your eye maintains a certain pressure range within it. It does so by making new ocular fluid at the same rate it drains the older fluid. Should the old fluid not drain away properly, the pressure inside your eye will rise. This can cause damage to your optic nerve, which can lead to vision loss.
Many types of glaucoma have no symptoms for you to catch. They can only be spotted through regular eye exams. Since the damage from glaucoma is irreversible, it’s vital to catch it early so nerve damage can be prevented.
Are Some People More Likely to Get Glaucoma?
Yes. Certain people are more at risk of developing glaucoma, such as:
- Black, Asian or Hispanic heritage
- Family history of glaucoma
- Taking corticosteroid medicines, especially eye drops, for a long time
- Certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and sickle cell anemia
- Extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness
What’s the Best Way to Protect Myself from Glaucoma?
Regular eye exams are the best way to spot developing glaucoma and mitigate it before it can do damage. See a vision care professional every year.