January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, which brings us to a time to share information about this disease that can take away vision. 3 million Americans have this disease and the numbers should increase by more than 50% in ten years. That sounds like a health crisis.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. It sneaks up upon the victim, because there are no symptoms. A person can lose up to 40% of their vision before they even notice. Regular eye exams can help to preserve eyesight.
When you have an eye exam, the doctor can tell if you are in the early stages of Glaucoma. Medicated eye drops can prevent further damage and loss of vision. Sometimes surgery is the appropriate option. Once the vision is lost, it can’t be regained.
Vision loss is caused when the optic nerve is damaged. This is why it’s so important to have regular eye exams with comprehensive testing.
Because Glaucoma is difficult to diagnose, there are five tests that are commonly used. A comprehensive eye exam will include:
- Tonometry – this checks the inner eye pressure
- Ophthalmoscopy – this checks your optic nerve
- Perimetry – this checks your field of vision
- Gonioscopy – this checks whether the angle where the iris meets the cornea is open or closed.
- Pachymetry – this checks to see the thickness of your cornea
High risk groups include people over 60, African Americans, and older Hispanics. You can learn more about this terrible disease at the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional. My posts are not meant to be medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please consult your personal physician.
@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman