January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, an important time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can lead to blindness by damaging the optic nerve. It is often referred to as the "silent thief of sight", since there are no early symptoms. Once vision is lost, the damage has been done and is irreversible. Furthermore, up to 40% of vision can be lost without someone even noticing it.
The National Eye Institute estimates more than 3 million people in the United States alone have glaucoma and projects this number will increase by 58%
to reach 4.2 million by 2030. Approximately 120,000 are blind from glaucoma in the U.S., accounting for 9% to 12% of all cases of blindness.
Anyone can get glaucoma, but those at a higher risk include African Americans over age"¯40, everyone over age 60 (especially"¯Hispanics/Latinos), and people
with a family history of the"¯disease. The signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of your condition. Some symptoms to be
aware of are
The only way to find out if you have glaucoma is to have a comprehensive eye exam that requires the eyes to be dilated. Early treatment can sometimes stop the damage and protect your vision.
If you have any of the risk factors, including history or age, make sure you schedule your annual eye examination. Get checked regularly and be aware of the early signs of glaucoma. Let's not let the silent thief take your sight away, let our staff at Joseph & Swan take care of all of your eye needs. To schedule an appointment, you can call our offices at (337) 981-6430 or visit us online for more information at http://www.josephswaneye.com.