While Glaucoma Awareness Month is technically in January, why wait until then to educate our readers about a condition affecting 2.7 million Americans? The scarier part still – studies show that at least half of those 2.7 million are completely unaware they have glaucoma, which, without proper care, can lead to blindness.
What is Glaucoma?
Contrary to popular belief, glaucoma is not a singular condition. It is, in fact, a group of eye conditions that stem from increased intraocular pressure (IOP) and damages the optic nerve, which carries visual signals to the brain. There are several different forms of glaucoma, including Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, Angle Closure Glaucoma, Normal Tension Glaucoma, and Secondary Glaucomas.
Who is at Risk?
Quite frankly, we are all at risk. Of course, certain factors increase this risk, such as age, race, genetics, and even high blood pressure.
- Glaucoma is six times more likely in people over the age of 60.
- Glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African Americans. People of Asian and Hispanic decent are also at increased risk.
- Glaucoma is four to nine times more likely if you have a family history.
- According to a new study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, long-term high blood pressure may increase the risk of glaucoma.
- The risk of secondary glaucoma increase with an eye injury.
In order to fully understand your individual risk for glaucoma, it is important to visit your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – regularly. This is especially important considering an individual can lose as much as 40% of their vision before even noticing. And vision loss associated with glaucoma is irreversible.
Glaucoma Diagnosis and Treatment in Maryland
Early detection of glaucoma and vigilant treatment are the best ways to prevent major vision loss. Glaucoma must be treated over the course of one’s life, and high IOP must be managed every day through the use of medication – eye drops or pills.
When was your last eye exam?
The Anne Arundel Eye Center is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles and his staff have helped preserve thousands of patients’ vision. They can help you too.
If you have any questions about Glaucoma or wish to schedule an appointment with Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC), please contact Board Certified Ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Kathryn Gurganus Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010 or Click Here to fill out our contact form.
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For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.