Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss, affecting about 3 million people in the United States.1 But this potentially blinding eye disease does not affect all people equally. During Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, Joseph & Swan Eye Center and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are urging people to be screened, especially if you are at increased risk of glaucoma.
Who is at risk?
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damages the eye’s optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits visual information to the brain, allowing us to see. Because glaucoma often progresses slowly, affecting just peripheral or side vision, people with glaucoma can lose most of their vision before they even experience any symptoms. Central vision, the vision used to read, drive or watch TV, is unaffected until the disease is advanced.
“Just because you think you can see well, doesn’t mean all is well,” said Dianna Seldomridge, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Once vision is lost to glaucoma, it can’t be regained. That’s why regular screening, especially among those at higher risk for glaucoma, is absolutely vital. When caught early, glaucoma can be treated with eyedrops or an in-office laser treatment. But in advanced cases, surgery may be required to slow the vision loss and prevent further damage.”
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.