Glaucoma-Cataract Consultants

Glaucoma Awareness Month


Understanding Glaucoma

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Since January is glaucoma awareness month the doctors at Glaucoma-Cataract Consultants wanted to remind you about the importance of routine eye exams due to diseases like glaucoma. Most Americans do a great job getting routine dental exams scheduled or even seeing their family doctors for a routine physical. Tell us the truth, when was the last time you thought to have an eye exam to check your eye health? Most people would agree that next to life itself nothing is more important than our ability to see. This is why the doctors at Glaucoma-Cataract Consultants want to continue education related to glaucoma. Because vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible, it is important to schedule regular and complete eye exams.

Almost two and a half million people have this disease, but half do not realize it because there are often no warning symptoms. Glaucoma is known as the silent-thief of sight because it silently steals your vision without you even realizing it. If you do not have routine eye exams to check the status of your eye health glaucoma and other diseases will steal your vision. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and the leading cause of preventable blindness. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology Approximately 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older have glaucoma. Too many people believe they can tell if they’re developing glaucoma,” says Dr. Gregory K. Harmon, Chairman of The Glaucoma Foundation and author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries the images we see to the brain. Many people know that glaucoma has something to do with pressure inside the eye. The higher the pressure inside the eye, the greater the chance of damage to the actual optic nerve. This intraocular pressure is not the disease itself, but the single most important risk factor for the development of glaucoma. The optic nerve is like an electric cable containing a huge number of wires. Glaucoma can damage nerve fibers, causing blind spots to develop. Often people don’t notice these blind areas until much optic nerve damage has already occurred. If the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness results. Early detection and treatment by your ophthalmologist are the keys to preventing optic nerve damage and blindness from glaucoma. If you have the early stages of glaucoma and you visit an ophthalmologist you can dramatically increase your chances of blindness.

Risk Factors:

There are several types of Glaucoma that can affect practically anyone. There are some risk factors that may increase your chances of getting this disease.

  1. If you have a family history of glaucoma
  2. If you have diabetes
  3. If you are highly myopic (nearsighted)
  4. If you are over the age of 45
  5. If you are African-American
  6. If you have thin corneas

African-Americans ages 45-65 are 14 to 17 times more likely to go blind from glaucoma than Caucasians with glaucoma in the same age group.

The doctors at w Glaucoma-Cataract Consultants would like to let you know that there is some decent news about this disease. Glaucoma is treatable with various options ranging from drops that relieve pressure to actual surgery. Unfortunately many people that suffer from Glaucoma do not realize that this is treatable, they do not get exams because they might have health insurance and they do not know how to get evaluated for this disease. Research on this disease is on-going and supported many groups including the Glaucoma Foundation. All major eye foundations including the American Academy of Ophthalmology encourage routine eye exam to prevent blindness from this disease. Call the Glaucoma-Cataract Consultants for more information regarding glaucoma or to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.






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