Currently, more than 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older have open angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, according to Prevent Blindness America. In observance of Glaucoma Awareness Month, Dr. Jay Bansal and his staff at LaserVue Eye Center want to educate you on the facts about glaucoma and encourage you to schedule regular screenings if you or someone you know may be at risk:
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which is the part of the eye that carries the images we see from the eye to the brain. The optic nerve is made up of many nerve fibers. Glaucoma damages nerve fibers, which can cause blind spots in our vision and vision loss to develop.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S., and it most often occurs in adults over age 40. And, it occurs more frequently in African-Americans, at an earlier age and with greater loss of vision.
Although the onset of glaucoma often goes unnoticed, some signs and symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, difficulty adapting to darkness, or haloes around lights.
You may be at risk for glaucoma if you answer yes to at least one of the following factors: elevated intraocular pressure, a family history of glaucoma, East Asian or Inuit ethnic background, advanced age, or certain optic nerve conditions.
Treating glaucoma aims to prevent further damage to the optic nerve by lowering the pressure in the eyes. Though glaucoma can usually be treated with medications like eye drops, laser treatment or surgery is required for some patients. Surgery for glaucoma maintains the health of the optic nerve and reduces the pressure in the eyes.
Remember, vision loss from glaucoma is permanent. However, vision loss from glaucoma can usually be prevented with early detection and treatment. Call 1.800.527.3745 to schedule your glaucoma exam today.