January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and at Vision First, we want to keep our patients (and non-patients!) informed of this dangerously quiet disease.
It is estimated that 60 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with or are living with glaucoma, with that number expected to rise in 2017. Because the signs of glaucoma are hard to detect, around half of those who suffer from the disease are unaware they even have it.
Though there is no known cure for glaucoma, the ophthalmologists and optometrists at Vision First Eye Center offers numerous types of comprehensive eye exams to test for glaucoma, as well as multiple treatment options.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve, the connection between the eye and the brain. When the optic nerve gets damaged, the delivery route for the images becomes blocked, preventing the brain from receiving image signals. Long-term damage to the optic nerve results in vision loss.
There are four common types of glaucoma:
Though the exact cause of glaucoma is unknown, glaucoma is normally associated with an increase of intraocular pressure to excess fluid in the eye.
You are more likely to develop glaucoma if you:
Unfortunately, the most common forms of glaucoma have few symptoms, sometimes none at all, especially in the early stages of glaucoma. Most who suffer from glaucoma do not experience any noticeable changes in their sight for many years. Damage from glaucoma normally starts with the peripheral vision and gradually progresses inward, proving that a patient can have advanced glaucoma yet still maintain 20/20 central vision. Symptoms vary depending on the type of glaucoma you may have.
You may have glaucoma if you experience:
There is no cure for glaucoma – but Vision First can help treat it. We offer various treatment methods depending on your unique case. Glaucoma treatments include medicine, conventional surgery, laser trabeculoplasty, or a combination of these.
The only true way to catch glaucoma before it worsens is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with us every 1-2 years, especially if you have a family history of glaucoma.
There are five tests used to determine if you have glaucoma:
Awareness is the first step in preventing glaucoma-related vision loss – and the second step is an annual eye exam. In the spirit of Glaucoma Awareness Month, we encourage you to share this article and schedule your comprehensive eye exam. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
For more information on what you can do to stop vision loss, call a Vision First Eye Center location in Birmingham, Alabaster, Trussville or Pell City.