January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect opportunity to educate ourselves and our loved ones about this common eye disease. Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that affects over 3 million Americans each year and is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.
But what exactly is glaucoma? Who is at risk for developing this condition? And most importantly, how can you ensure early detection of this disease before it steals your sight? This blog will answer all these questions to help you develop a better understanding of glaucoma and whether you’re at risk of developing this eye condition.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve (the cable-like structure in the back of your eye that transmits visual information to your brain). This damage can occur due to increased pressure on the optic nerve caused by fluid buildup in the eyeball or from other causes like genetic predisposition, diabetes, or trauma. If left untreated, it can lead to vision loss and even permanent blindness.
Top causes of glaucoma
The exact cause of glaucoma varies depending on the type. The most common form—known as primary open-angle glaucoma—is caused by fluid buildup in the eyeball which increases pressure on the optic nerve over time. Other forms are caused by physical blockages in drainage channels or other factors like genetics or certain medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Treatments for glaucoma
Early detection and treatment are essential for preventing vision loss associated with glaucoma. Treatment usually involves medicated eye drops to reduce intraocular pressure. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to prevent further damage to your eyesight. Your optometrist will perform a comprehensive exam and make a diagnosis based on your symptoms, medical history, and other factors like age and family history. They will then recommend a course of treatment tailored specifically to your needs.
If you are at risk of developing glaucoma or have any concerns about your vision, it is important to seek professional care from an optometrist. Make sure to schedule a visit at Spring House Eye Associates today to make sure you catch this silent thief of sight before you lose your vision!