Since this month marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to review the importance of early diagnosis of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is the term for a group of ocular disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve, which may cause a loss of vision. If untreated, the damage often first shows up as peripheral vision loss and then moves to a complete loss of vision. It is the primary cause of avoidable loss of vision and according to estimates, over 60 million individuals worldwide are afflicted with the disease.
A significant reason for the development of glaucoma is known to be an increase in pressure in the eye referred to as intraocular pressure. As pressure around the eye is elevated, this causes damage to the optic nerve which transports messages from the eye to the brain. When this pathway is damaged eyesight is impaired. Regrettably, damage to the optic nerve is usually untreatable.
The most dangerous characteristic of glaucoma is that there are no signs that warn of the progression of the condition until it may be too late. It is due to this that glaucoma is known as the "sneak thief of sight." The quandary is how is it possible to protect yourself against an illness which lacks any obvious symptoms?
Prompt detection of the disease is important to effective care. Although glaucoma risk is universal, particular populations are at higher risk than others. Major risk factors for glaucoma may include adults over 45, anyone having a family history of glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or known eye conditions such as elevated intraocular pressure.
There are different types of glaucoma such as open-angle or closed angle glaucomas. Both eyes are usually affected, but the disease may progress more quickly in one of the eyes.
You can learn more about glaucoma if you contact an optometrist. There are a number of diagnostic eye tests relied on by doctors to measure intraocular pressure and the risk of glaucoma. Particularly if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, make sure to plan for a routine eye examination at least once a year.
The fact is most forms of glaucoma are not preventable. Nevertheless the loss of sight caused by damage to the optic nerve may be slowed by a reliable diagnosis and quick treatment. Contact Optomeyes - Squamish or Optomeyes - West Vancouver today for a yearly glaucoma screening.