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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Since this month marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we would like to stress the importance of early diagnosis of glaucoma. Glaucoma is the term for a class of eye disorders that damage the optic nerve, which may cause a permanent loss of vision. When not treated, the disease often first results in vision loss in the periphery of the field of vision and then moves to total blindness. It is the primary cause of avoidable vision loss and statistics show that over sixty million individuals worldwide have the vision threatening condition.

The primary source of glaucoma is considered to be elevated pressure in the eye known as intraocular pressure. As the pressure increases, this causes damage to the optic nerve which transports messages from the eye to the vision centers in the brain. In instances where this system doesn't work properly, eyesight is impaired. At the current time, damage to the optic nerve is typically irreversible.

The most concerning fact about glaucoma is that unlike other causes of blindness, it is asymptomatic until vision is already lost.
It is for this reason that glaucoma has obtained the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you wondering: is it possible to prevent a disease which lacks any obvious symptoms?

Prompt diagnosis of glaucoma is important to effective treatment. While everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, specific populations have a higher risk than others. Major risk factors for glaucoma may include those over 45, individuals having a family history of glaucoma, diabetes, or known eye conditions such as high intraocular pressure.

You can learn more about glaucoma if you find a qualified eye doctor. There are a series of diagnostic eye evaluations relied on by doctors to assess intraocular pressure and the risk of glaucoma. Particularly if you are over 45 or have one of the other risk factors named above, make sure to book a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis.

The fact is for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. However the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision may be halted by timely diagnosis and quick treatment. Contact Centreville Eye Care Center now, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.