Since this month marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we would like to stress the importance of early diagnosis of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a category of ocular disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve, which may cause loss of central vision and eventual blindness. If not treated, the damage often first results in peripheral vision loss and then moves to total blindness. It is considered to be the number one reason for preventable blindness and an estimated sixty million individuals around the world suffer from it.
A significant source of glaucoma is thought to be an increase in pressure in the eye called intraocular pressure. The elevation in pressure damages the optic nerve which delivers messages to the brain. When this system doesn't function normally, vision is impaired. Regrettably, damage to the optic nerve is usually permanent.
The most threatening fact about glaucoma is that unlike other forms of vision impairment, it is an asymptomatic condition until it may be too late.
It is due to this that glaucoma is known as the "sneak thief of sight." The problem is, is it possible to detect a condition which has no obvious symptoms?
Early detection of the disease is very important to effective care. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, specific populations have a higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma can include those over 45 years of age, anyone with a family history of glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or other eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, eye injuries or high intraocular pressure.
There are several different classes of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. As a rule of thumb, both eyes are affected, although the disease has been known to advance more quickly in one eye than in the other.
To learn more about glaucoma contact an optometrist. There are a number of diagnostic eye tests used to assess damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Particularly if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, it's important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis.
Unfortunately most types of glaucoma cannot be prevented. That being said, the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision can be halted by timely diagnosis and prompt treatment. Don't delay! Contact Dry Eye Treatment Centers of NY and NJ today, for a yearly glaucoma screening.