Out of all the causes of vision loss in human beings, Glaucoma is known to be the second most prominent one. The condition is so serious that patients wouldn’t even have the faintest idea that they have it until they experience significant vision loss. This is why Glaucoma is infamously known as “The sneaky thief of sight”.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma isn’t just one condition, but a group of diseases that collectively cause loss of vision. They are of two types, namely Open Angle and Closed Angle Glaucoma.
Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG): The more prevalent type of Glaucoma, OAG, is caused by the poor outflow of fluid from the eye, which initiates an increase in pressure in the drain vessels. When the pressure reaches dangerous levels, it can damage the optic nerve and cause a gradual loss of vision.
Closed Angle Glaucoma (CAG): CAG is caused due to a mechanical obstruction in the drain vessels of the eye, which causes an unusually high pressure build up in the system. In comparison to OAG, the symptoms with CAG are more noticeable, such as redness, watery discharge, eye pain, blurred vision, headache, etc.
The risks associated with Glaucoma
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that there have been approximately 4.5 million recorded cases of Glaucoma in the world causing partial or total blindness. In the United States alone, over 3 million people are said to be diagnosed with the disease, and 120,000 people have lost their sight to it. The fact that a cure to Glaucoma hasn’t been found yet is the worst part.
Since the disease has no visible symptoms, the only fool-proof way to detect its onset is by undergoing a professional diagnosis. We recommend every person to go for routine comprehensive eye exams at least once every year, and people over 40 years of age for much frequent screenings. Patients must keep in mind that once vision is lost, it is permanent and no treatment method revive it.
Awareness can save the sight of millions
January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, and it is the responsibility of every one of us to do our part. If you have members in your family or friends who are above the age of 40, recommend them to take a dilated eye test as soon as possible. Talk to them about the disease, why it is so important and how one wouldn’t even have a clue about it until it causes serious damage.
Though Glaucoma could affect any person, the elderly are more likely to be affected by it. Also, studies have shown that people with an African or Mexican heritage, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of being diagnosed by Glaucoma. Let’s spread awareness and help to protect the eyesight of as many people as possible.
Schedule an appointment with us to get yourself and your loved ones screened for Glaucoma