January is Glaucoma Awareness Month: Here is what you need to know!
The New Year has begun, and Nevada Eye Physicians is taking the opportunity to remind us all that it is essential to look after our sight. Today, over 2.7 million Americans over the age of forty suffer from glaucoma within the United States. According to the National Eye Institute, this number will only grow, reaching something in the region of 4.2 million by the year 2030.
A Gradual Decline in Seeing Ability
Glaucoma can be incredibly difficult to notice and prevent, because there are no obvious symptoms, and once your vision has been lost, the damage is permanent. Statistics suggest that it is possible for an individual to lose up to 40% of their vision without noticing. Because of this, Glaucoma is one of the leading causes for preventable blindness in the world. Although over 60 million people in the world have glaucoma, experts believe that half of that number aren’t aware they have it. Without raising awareness that prompts people to be more active about their eye care, an epidemic could quickly develop.
What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that is capable of gradually diminishing the sight without warning. Although it most commonly effects the elderly and middle-aged, it’s important to remember that glaucoma can be an issue for individuals of all ages. Generally, vision loss takes place as a result of damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that is responsible for carrying images to the brain. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, surgery and medication can help to slow or prevent further vision loss if the affected individual has the problem spotted by a professional team, such as those at Nevada Eye Physicians.
The appropriate treatment will always depend on the type of glaucoma a person suffers from, as well as other personal factors, but early detection is essential to halting the disease’s progress. The two main types of glaucoma include primary open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma, and normal tension glaucoma. Both of these forms are marked by an increase of pressure within the eye. When optic nerve damage takes place, although the intraocular pressure is normal, this is referred to as tension glaucoma.
What are the Risk Factors?
Although potentially anyone could suffer from glaucoma, it’s worth noting that there are people who will experience higher levels of risk. These people typically include individuals of Asian, African, or Hispanic descent. Other individuals within high-risk groups include the family members of people who have already been diagnosed, people over the age of sixty, diabetics, and those who are significantly nearsighted. Regular eye exams are essential for the people who are in a higher risk group for glaucoma, as they could help to prevent unnecessary loss of vision. According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.
The best possible way to protect your sight is to obtain a comprehensive eye examination with professional doctors, such as those at Nevada Eye Physicians. This examination may reveal evidence of glaucoma, which will allow you to start treatment immediately, and reduce any potential short or long-term damage.
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