Glaucoma Awareness Month – January, 2015
Glaucoma is often referred to as the “silent thief” of sight. Millions of people are at risk for the condition, particularly individuals over the age of 40 and those who are of African American or Latino heritage. It is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Glaucoma typically does not show symptoms in its early stages, causing gradual vision loss over an extended period of time before you even realize there is a problem. The scariest part is: once vision has been lost, it’s permanent. In fact, at least 40% of vision can be lost before you begin to notice.
That’s the bad news. The good news is: extensive vision loss can be prevented if you know the risk factors, have regular eye exams, and get treated for glaucoma in its early stages. Risk factors for glaucoma include:
- Over 40 years of age
- African-Americans 35 and older
- A family history of glaucoma
- Extreme nearsightedness
- Long-term use of steroids
Although middle-aged and elderly individuals are often more at risk, glaucoma can affect people of any age. The condition is typically caused by increased pressure in the eye, which damages the optic nerve; however, patients with normal pressure inside the eye have also been known to develop the disease. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, Dr. Michael Manning offers advanced treatments that can control the condition and prevent it from progressing to dangerous stages. You can learn more about glaucoma and available treatment options here.
Again, regular eye exams are crucial in the fight against glaucoma!
If you have questions about glaucoma, or if you would like to schedule an eye exam here at Gulfcoast Eye Care, please contact us today.