Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that lead to damage the optic nerve, usually resulting from a rise in intraocular pressure (IOP). The optic nerve carries visual information from the eye to the brain.
Over 60 million people worldwide (2.2 million Americans) have glaucoma and experts estimate that nearly half of them are unaware they are currently affected by the disease. This is probably because glaucoma displays no symptoms and, at first, only affects peripheral or side vision. As a result, an individual can lose as much as 40% of their vision before even noticing. This is also why glaucoma has been nicknamed “the sneak thief of sight.”
Once a person begins to lose their vision, the damage is irreversible. This is why regular eye exams are so important. While there is no cure for glaucoma, early detection and treatment are your best options to slow or even prevent further vision loss brought on by the disease. Without early detection and treatment, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. In fact, glaucoma is the second-leading cause of vision loss in the United States behind only cataracts.
This is why January has been named National Glaucoma Awareness Month.
You are at an increased risk developing glaucoma if…
•You are of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent
• You are over the age of 60
•You have a family member who has already been diagnosed
• You are diabetic
•You are severely nearsighted (myopic)
While everyone should have their eyes examined regularly, those with the above risk factors should increase the frequencies of those examinations.
Early detection equals earlier, simpler and more effective treatment.
If you have any questions about what you have just read or if you would like to learn more about Glaucoma Detection and Treatment, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Samuel Boles and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today!
Cast your vote now for Anne Arundel Eye Center, Dr. Boles and Dr. Frank in Chesapeake Family Magazine’s Favorite Docs 2012! Voting ends on March 15th.
Dr. Boles and everyone else at the Anne Arundel Eye Center proudly support the efforts of The Polakoff Foundation and their role in the ongoing fight against glaucoma. Click here to purchase tickets online for the Polakoff Foundation’s Mardi Gras Celebration to help raise money to aid the fight against blindness.
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision.
Glaucoma and Cataracts may be a natural part of aging. Losing your vision doesn’t have to be.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.