Set Your Sights on Prevention in Glaucoma Awareness Month
More than three million people in the United States and over 60 million people worldwide have glaucoma, and that number is just a drop in the bucket in comparison to what it is estimated to become over the next decade. This is a disease that presents no symptoms to give warning, and once someone has lost their vision as a result of glaucoma, that loss of vision is irreversible. In fact, as much as 40 percent of a person’s vision can be lost before they’ve even begun to notice – and that previously estimated number of glaucoma victims? Half of them don’t know it yet.
While it is the leading cause of irreversible blindness and shows no sympathy for its victims regardless of age, sex, or race, glaucoma does statistically affect more African American and Latino individuals. Age certainly plays a factor in the development of glaucoma, but preventing blindness is possible if awareness is raised about the need for regular eye examinations.
Open Your Eyes and Open Up About Glaucoma
Seniors can be proactive by taking action, but they need the support of family and friends, as well.
· Talk about glaucoma openly. If you have the condition, discuss it with your loved ones so that they are aware
· Get involved with your local community efforts to help raise awareness
· Get regular eye examinations with a physician to track changes in your eyes
Glaucoma is actually a group of diseases that steal vision without giving any warning signs. The loss of vision is the result of damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying images to the brain from the eye and enabling you to see. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for glaucoma. Medication and surgeries are available that can slow its progression or prevent greater vision loss, however. Treatment will be
determined by the type of glaucoma, and detecting it early is crucial in preventing it from progressing even further.
Focusing on the Two Types of Glaucoma
The two types of glaucoma are primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma. They are differentiated by an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP), which is the pressure inside the eye. When someone has optic nerve damage despite having a normal IOP, this is referred to as normal-tension glaucoma.
Any case of optic nerve damage and vision loss due to increased eye pressure resulting from a disease is referred to as secondary glaucoma.
Take a Good Look at Your Risks
There are usually no symptoms arising from the most common form of glaucoma, and loss of vision starts slowly affecting peripheral vision. As a result, glaucoma often goes unnoticed until a significant amount of vision has been lost. For Latinos and African Americans as well as individuals whose siblings have been diagnosed with glaucoma, the risk of development is greatly increased. Other risk factors include age for anyone over 60, direct relation to anyone with the disease, diabetes, and severe nearsightedness. Preventative measures like comprehensive eye exams are crucial to being able to detect it early enough that it can be treated.
Contact Watermark of Gulf Breeze Assisted Living & Memory Care to learn more about our senior care services today!