Glaucoma Awareness Month – Tampa Bay Eye Doctor Discusses the “Silent Thief” of Sight
Dr. Michael Manning of Gulfcoast Eye Care says regular eye exams, particularly for individuals over 40, of African American or Latino descent, and those with a family history of glaucoma is critical to prevent serious complications – including total blindness.
Tampa Bay, FL – January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and one Tampa Bay ophthalmologist is spreading the word about how individuals can protect themselves from the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Dr. Michael Manning says glaucoma, known as the “silent thief” of sight, is particularly dangerous because it can go unnoticed for years. Often displaying no symptoms in its early stages, glaucoma is often – though not always – caused by a build-up of pressure inside the eye that damages the optic nerve, which can lead to a gradual loss of vision and ultimately total blindness. However, Dr. Manning says, those who know their risk factors and who obtain regular eye exams can go a long way toward preventing the disease from having a significant effect on their normal vision.
Dr. Manning says, with Glaucoma Awareness Month upon us, it’s important for people to know how susceptible they may be to glaucoma. Those who may be at an increased risk for developing glaucoma include:
- People of African American or Latino descent
- African Americans 35 and older
- Caucasians over the age of 40
- People with a family history of glaucoma
- People who suffer from extreme nearsightedness
- People have used steroids over a long period of time
It’s estimated that more than 2.7 million people over 40 in the United States have glaucoma, and about 120,000 individuals have gone blind because of the condition. Dr. Manning says, with the most common form of glaucoma, symptoms may begin with gradual loss of peripheral vision; however, he reiterates, glaucoma is often asymptomatic in its earliest stages, punctuating the importance of eye exams. Dr. Manning notes, with regular eye exams, glaucoma can be identified and treated – often with medicinal eye drops or even laser procedures.
Although there is no cure for glaucoma, Dr. Manning says early treatment can dramatically slow its progression or prevent it from getting worse. He advises individuals to be sure to schedule regular eye exams and have their eyes and vision comprehensively checked during their appointment.
About Michael H. Manning, MD, FACS
Dr. Manning is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the International Society of Refractive Surgery. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Manning is the head of Gulfcoast Eye Care, a comprehensive vision correction and eye care practice in the Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida area. In addition to glaucoma procedures, the practice offers treatment for cataracts, dry eye syndrome, diabetic eye disease, and other eye conditions, as well as laser vision correction options such as LASIK. Dr. Manning is available for interview upon request.
Gulfcoast Eye Care
Palm Harbor Office
2650 Tampa Rd.
Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Pinellas Park Office
6036 Park Blvd.
Pinellas Park, FL 33781