January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Did you know that currently there are more than 3 million people living with Glaucoma in the United States?  And that they predict that more than half of these individuals living with Glaucoma don’t even know they have it?  Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” because frequently individuals can have Glaucoma and aren’t even aware of it?  Good news though, there is help.  Knowing what Glaucoma is, who is at risk for it and how to prevent it makes you better equipped to deal with Glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause permanent vision loss without warning.  The vision loss occurs when there is damage to the optic nerve.  The optic nerve is what carries images from the eye to the brain when there is increased pressure, these images don’t get where they need to go.  This in turn, causes permanent damage and vision loss.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for Glaucoma at this time.  Doctors are working on advancing treatments to hopefully someday cure this silent killer. 

Are there risk factors for Glaucoma?

Yes, there are risk factors for Glaucoma.  If you have family members who have had Glaucoma, that puts you at higher risk for developing it yourself.  Individuals who are of African, Asian and Hispanic descent are also at higher risk.  Anyone over the age of 60 is at higher risk too.  People who have other chronic conditions such as diabetes can also be at higher risk for developing Glaucoma. 

How do we prevent Glaucoma?

Prevention against Glaucoma is key.  The best ways to prevent Glaucoma are: by getting regular dilated eye exams with your ophthalmologist every year.  Being aware of your family history if any and communicating it to your eye doctor.  Exercising regularly and safely can also help as a way to prevent Glaucoma.  Using your prescribed eye drops regularly and as ordered are important.  If your eye doctor prescribed eye drops be sure to use them as directed.   Wearing eye protection can prevent serious eye injuries that can lead to glaucoma. 

Now that we have covered all of this important information about Glaucoma, it is up to you to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.  It’s a new year, take charge of your health and call and schedule your eye and any other medical appointments you’ve been putting off today.  If you need help locating an eye doctor or have questions regarding Glaucoma, please reach out to us here at VITALity by calling 1-888-268-4825 today.  Be sure to check back in Health Notes next month where we will talk about blood pressure and heart disease. 

Be Well!

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