January is NATIONAL GLAUCOMA AWARENESS MONTH.
Glaucoma is a disease that has very few symptoms. There is really no advanced notice to alert you to this incurable disease!
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve. This damage can result in vision loss and blindness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 3 million Americans have glaucoma. It is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, with early intervention and management, you should hopefully be able to slow the progression of this disease. There are several types of glaucoma and treatment for each type can vary. Surgical options through laser treatment have vastly improved management of glaucoma in recent years.
Just like our cars and equipment, our bodies require regular and preventative maintenance. Not fun, but the reality of the situation.
It seems that I repeatedly emphasize this point, as well as knowing your family history in our health awareness blog articles. You can read more about that here.
Glaucoma can affect anyone. There are certain people at higher risk:
- African Americans over 40
- All people over 60
- People with family history of glaucoma
- People who have diabetes
According to the CDC:
“African Americans are 6 to 8 times more likely to get glaucoma than whites. People with diabetes are 2 times more likely to get glaucoma than people without diabetes."
You can prevent vision loss. You can do that by getting a comprehensive examination with dilation of your eyes by age 40 to help catch glaucoma and other eye diseases early.
Treatment can consist of medicated drops, oral medication, surgery or a combined regimen of treatments.
Learning about the various types of glaucoma and steps you can take to protect your vision should be added to your maintenance schedule for optimal health.
We take a lot of aspects of our health for granted. Our eyesight is one of them. Our vision should be protected and nurtured.
Follow treatment recommendations, take or use medications as prescribed, and ALWAYS keep your follow-up examinations.
The CDC has a glaucoma initiatives program that funds programs to detect glaucoma and other eye disorders for high-risk communities.
I found through researching this article, that glaucoma is commonly referred to as “the sneak thief of sight."
Do not let the sneak thief of sight creep up on you.