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In case you weren’t aware, January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is referred to as the “sight thief” since it causes vision loss without any warning signs and is incurable once it has taken place.

Glaucoma is divided into two types: open-angle and angle-closure. The most prevalent kind, open-angle glaucoma, has the fewest warning signals, usually impacting peripheral vision in the late stages. This is why regular eye examinations and glaucoma screening are so important; they just might save your sight.

Continue reading to find out why it’s so essential to raise awareness of glaucoma and why Glaucoma Awareness Month is so important to your health.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve of the eye is injured and worsens over time. It’s often linked to a rise in intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is a condition that tends to run in families and is often not diagnosed until later in life.

The pressure within your eye, known as intraocular pressure, may injure your optic nerve, which transmits images to your brain. If the damage to the eyes worsens, glaucoma may result in irreversible vision loss or perhaps blindness within a few years.

Glaucoma may strike anybody at any age; however, it is more common in those over the age of 60. Many individuals may be completely unaware that they have it. Part of the issue is that glaucoma often has few if any, symptoms.

These signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain in the eyes
  • Blind patches in your center or peripheral eyesight
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Hazy vision
  • Halo effects around lights
  • Experiencing severe headaches
  • Tunnel vision

Another problem with glaucoma is that its symptoms aren’t exclusive to the eye illness. To be safe, if you have any of these symptoms, see an eye doctor to determine what’s happening. Glaucoma or a number of other health conditions may be the cause.

Glaucoma Awareness Month Instills in The Public

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams

Staying ahead of glaucoma is the greatest way to fight it. The most straightforward approach is to schedule regular eye checkups with your eye doctor. A thorough evaluation of your personal and family history, as well as a complete eye exam, are required to diagnose glaucoma. Various tests may be performed by your ophthalmologist, including:

  • Pachymetry is a technique for determining the thickness of the cornea.
  • Visual field testing is used to determine whether or not there are any regions of vision loss.
  • Tonometry is a method of measuring intraocular pressure.
  • The drainage angle is seen during a gonioscopy.
  • A dilated eye exam and imaging tests are used to determine if the optic nerve has been damaged.

There are many varieties of glaucoma, and many of them have no distinctive symptoms. Because the impact is so slow, you may not notice any changes in your eyesight until it is well advanced. For the most part, this indicates that visual loss has already taken place.

Because glaucoma causes irreversible vision loss, it’s essential to see your eye doctor for regular eye examinations. Glaucoma may be detected in its early stages with regular eye exams. Early detection and therapy may stop or decrease the course of the disease, allowing you to enjoy your sight for much longer.

Preventing Glaucoma

As we know, glaucoma cannot be prevented. However, if you catch it early enough, you may reduce your chance of an eye injury and potentially avoid losing your vision. These precautions may aid in the preservation of your vision:

Maintain a regular eye checkup schedule. The earlier your doctor detects glaucoma symptoms, the sooner you may begin treatment. Every 3 to 5 years, all people should get their eyes tested for glaucoma. Get a complete eye checkup from an eye doctor every 1 to 2 years if you’re over 40 and have a family history of the condition. If you have diabetes or are at risk for other eye illnesses, you may need to visit more often.

Find out about your ancestors. Inquire whether any of your family have been diagnosed with glaucoma.

Pay attention to your doctor’s directions. If they discover that you have excessive eye pressure, they may prescribe glaucoma prevention drops.

Exercise. At least three times a week, engage in moderate activity such as walking or running.

Keep your eyes safe and protected. When playing sports or working on home improvement tasks, use safety glasses.

That being said, there are additional measures to help minimize glaucoma-related vision loss besides frequent eye exams:

  • Keep a healthy weight,
  • Keep your blood pressure in check,
  • Avoid smoking,
  • Stay physically active,
  • Examine your family’s medical history.

How Can You Assist with Glaucoma Awareness?

People may help raise awareness of the condition in a variety of ways, including:

  • Social media postings on glaucoma awareness.
  • Getting an annual eye checkup and urging others to do the same.
  • Participating in community conversations and fundraising as a member of a community group. Invite your optometrist to speak as a guest speaker.
  • Supporting organizations like the Glaucoma Research Foundation, which sponsors new research to aid in the discovery of a cure for the illness. You can also help this non-profit by simply sharing its webpage with others.
  • Referring users to credible, informative websites like Glaucoma.org for glaucoma prevention and treatment.

Glaucoma Awareness Month: What It’s All About

Glaucoma may creep up on you without you realizing it because, by the time you notice symptoms, the condition has already progressed and is affecting your eyesight. Glaucoma must be detected early in order to keep your eyes healthy and your vision intact. This is why it’s important to get frequent eye exams to ensure that your eyesight is in good working order.

Glaucoma Awareness Month is an excellent time to educate individuals who aren’t familiar with the condition. Don’t put off your eye exam if you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms; it might be the key to saving your sight!

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