Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss
January is recognized each year as Glaucoma Awareness Month, this age-related eye disease impacts the lives of nearly 3 million Americans over the age of 40 (and particularly over the age of 60). This month is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the risk factors and signs of Glaucoma, which can ultimately cause gradual blindness.
The Dangers of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually steals vision. There are typically no early warning signs or painful symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. It develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable sight loss for many years.
Most people who have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice a change in their vision at first because the initial loss of vision is of side or peripheral vision, and the visual acuity or sharpness of vision is maintained until late in the disease.
By the time a patient is aware of vision loss, the disease is usually quite advanced. Without proper treatment, glaucoma can lead to blindness.
The good news is that with regular eye exams, early detection, and treatment, you can preserve your vision.
Glaucoma Does Discriminate: Here’s What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself
this potentially blinding eye disease does not affect all people equally. During Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is urging people to be screened, especially if you are at increased risk of glaucoma. So who is at risk?
are 6 to 8 times more likely to get glaucoma than white Americans. Blindness from glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than white Americans.
are at an increased risk for the less common types of glaucoma: angle-closure glaucoma and normal-tension glaucoma.
face an increased risk comparable to African Americans, but the disease may also progress faster as they age, compared with other ethnic groups.
People with Diabetes
are 2 times more likely to get glaucoma than people without diabetes.
People Over 40
also at risk are people over age 40, those who are severely nearsighted, and those who have a family history of glaucoma
“The Sneak Thief of Sight”
Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing. Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness.
The Glaucoma Research Foundation created this video to help spread awareness, and what you can do to start getting checked.