January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Now, what is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, connecting the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. It is usually caused by fluid buildup in the front part of the eye, increasing pressure inside the eye. According to the National Eye Institute in the United States, glaucoma is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the USA, unfortunately, half of the people with glaucoma don’t know they have it.
What causes glaucoma?
Clear fluid flows in and out of a small space at the front of the eye, keeping the tissue in the eye healthy. If this fluid drains too slowly, it creates pressure on the optic nerve, causing damage and leading to what is called glaucoma.
What are the main types of glaucoma?
Although there are different types of glaucoma, ophthalmologists typically group them into two main categories: Open-Angle glaucoma and Angle-Closure glaucoma. Both lead to damage to the optic nerve, which can result in blindness.
Glaucoma has no early symptoms. The only way to check for it is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. There is no cure for glaucoma, but starting treatment as early as possible can help stop vision loss. The people with the highest risk of getting glaucoma are Black/African American and over the age of 40. Also, Hispanic and Asian individuals are in the list of people more vulnerable to suffering from this condition. Lastly, having a family history of glaucoma can make you more susceptible to the disease.
Glaucoma Awareness Month aims to encourage everyone at high risk for glaucoma to get a dilated eye exam. This is the best way to protect your vision. For more information, you can call our clinic at +1 (345) 333-2222 and make an appointment with our Ophthalmologist or book online at www.totalhealth.ky.