January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Here, the eye care specialists at Berks Eye share information about this vision-stealing disease.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is not just one eye disorder. It is a term used to describe a variety of eye disorders characterized by optic nerve damage. The optic nerve is a nerve in the back of the eye that sends visual information to the brain. Good vision requires a healthy optic nerve. When the optic nerve is damaged, vision loss can occur.
There are a number of different types of glaucoma. The most common type is open-angle glaucoma which is characterized by gradually increasing eye pressure. Some of the other types of glaucoma include the following:
- Angle-closure glaucoma
- Congenital glaucoma
- Secondary glaucoma
Glaucoma Is a Vision-Stealing Disease
Glaucoma is well-known across the globe. Unfortunately, that is because it is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. In the United States, it is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.
Glaucoma Can Progress Unnoticed
Glaucoma awareness is important because it encourages people to get regular, comprehensive eye exams. A comprehensive eye exam is the only way to catch glaucoma early. This is because many forms of glaucoma initially have no symptoms. This means that most people with glaucoma may not know that they have it until the disease has progressed. The best way to protect your eyes and prevent vision loss is with regular eye exams to check for glaucoma.
Some People Are More at Risk for Glaucoma
It is especially important that you have regular eye exams if you have a higher risk for developing glaucoma. How do you know if you are more at risk for glaucoma? If any of the following apply to you, you may be more at risk for developing glaucoma:
- A family history of glaucoma
- High internal eye pressure
- Over 55 years old
- Black, Asian or Hispanic heritage
- Past eye injury
- Past eye surgery
- High blood pressure
- Sickle cell anemia
- Central corneal thickness less than 0.5 mm
- High myopia (nearsightedness)
- High hyperopia (farsightedness)
- Extended use of corticosteroid medicines
There Is No Cure for Glaucoma
There is no cure for glaucoma. However, early diagnosis and treatment intervention can stop or slow the disease’s progression and help to prevent further vision damage. Berks Eye offers a number of glaucoma treatment options.
Schedule Your Eye Exam Today
Don’t let glaucoma steal your vision. Start your new year off with a comprehensive eye exam with the talented team at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons. Please call (610) 372-0712 or go online to schedule your eye exam.