January – The Month of Glaucoma Awareness

It is unfortunate that half of the people don’t know that they have Glaucoma. Being the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that may cause eye blindness. Often called a “sneak-thief of sight”, this condition is looked upon with fear since it steals the sight without warning. It strikes without pain and no symptoms pop up until the vision is lost. With Glaucoma, especially in the earlier days, your vision may be feeling normal great, but it may a delusion.

So What Exactly Is It?

Vision is lost when the optic nerve gets damaged. The nerve stops sending signals to the brain and thus the visuals stop being perceived by us leading to loss of sight. Now, the optic nerve could come under threat due to the increased internal pressure in the eyes or some other disease/disorder that indirectly causes vision loss. Glaucoma begins to affect the vision of the peripheral sides and then gradually spreads to the center of the eyes.

There are two types of Glaucoma:

a. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG): marked by an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye. When optic nerve damage has occurred despite a normal IOP, this is called normal tension glaucoma.

b. Angle-Closure Glaucoma: a case in which another disease causes or contributes to increased eye pressure, resulting in optic nerve damage and vision loss.

Good News:

On the brighter side, Glaucoma is treatable! If you think you belong to the above high-risk group, there is nothing to worry about. Though there is no cure to Glaucoma (yet), early detection of the condition can be beneficial. Medication has progressed enough to control, treat and monitor the existing intensity of damage caused. However, the lost vision cannot be restored. Your doctor will guide you with medicines, drops, regular follow-up tests etc.

Don’t leave it Untreated, Be Safe of Blindness:

The key is the Comprehensive Retinal Eye Test. When was the last time you got an eye test? It is recommended that you get this test done regularly. This test reveals any early signs of Glaucoma and you may begin your treatment before you lose more of your vision.

Spread the importance of early detection and getting the test done, with your friends, family, neighbors. Also, make sure to eat healthily and exercise regularly to be fit overall.

Who are at Risk:

1. Age: People who are middle-aged and the elderly are usually the most affected. However, the condition may also strike any age group, for that matter. But people above the age of 40-60 are recommended to be alert.

2. Genes: Family members of those who are already diagnosed with Glaucoma, especially siblings of people with Glaucoma are noted to be at a higher risk.

3. Diabetic: People with Diabetes are observed to be twice likely to be affected than others.

4. Sighted: Those who are severely nearsighted are more at a risk to be affected by Glaucoma than those who are farsighted.

A Resolution for a Healthy Vision:

Spread Awareness – low vision is better than no vision!

Safeguard yourself and your future generations from unnecessary vision loss! Share this article with your friends, family, circle and insist them all to take the Comprehensive Retinal Eye Test.

Written by MedPlus