Since January has been designated National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to review the importance of early detection of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a category of progressive ocular disorders that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which may be a precursor to blindness. When untreated, the damage often initially results in vision loss in the periphery of the field of vision and ultimately ends up causing a complete loss of vision. Glaucoma is considered to be the leading cause of avoidable loss of vision and statistics show that over 60 million people worldwide have it.
A contributing reason for the development of glaucoma is thought to be increased pressure in the eye called intraocular pressure. As pressure around the eye is elevated, this causes damage to the optic nerve which transports signals from the eye to the brain. When this pathway doesn't function normally, vision is impaired. At the current time, optic nerve damage is usually permanent.
Glaucoma is particularly dangerous because unlike other forms of blindness, it is asymptomatic until vision is already lost.
This is why glaucoma has obtained the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." The question is is it possible to safeguard against an illness which has no obvious symptoms?
Early diagnosis of glaucoma is important to effective management. Although glaucoma risk is universal, specific populations have a higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma may include anyone over 45, anyone having family members who have had glaucoma, diabetes, or other eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, eye injuries or high intraocular pressure.
There are many different categories of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. The condition usually affects both eyes, however the disease can progress more rapidly in one eye than in the other.
An effective way to detect glaucoma is to contact an optometrist. There are a number of diagnostic eye examinations relied on by doctors to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Especially if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, make sure to schedule a comprehensive eye exam annually.
The fact is most types of glaucoma cannot be prevented. That being said, the loss of sight caused by damage to the optic nerve can be halted by timely diagnosis and proper treatment. Don't delay! Contact Dr. Wong and Associates Danbury now, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.