Glaucoma Awareness Month
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. In the United States, Glaucoma is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness. While it is commonly believed that only diabetics can suffer from glaucoma, anyone is susceptible to this condition. Because glaucoma has no early symptoms, it is important to continually monitor your eyes and have an annual comprehensive eye exam to ensure continued eye health. This Glaucoma Awareness Month, make sure you are caring for your vision and know what signs to look for!
Glaucoma – “Thief of Sight”
Glaucoma is a group of conditions damaging your eye’s optic nerve, usually when fluid builds in the front of your eye. Increased pressure due to this fluid damages the optic nerve, leaving you susceptible to eventual vision loss. As optic nerve fibers die, you will develop blind spots in your vision. Once all fibers die, you will become blind.
This condition remains the leading cause of blindness in people over 60, but can be prevented with vigilance and early treatment. Unfortunately, any damage done by glaucoma is irreversible, so it is extremely important to be aware of your risk level as open-angle glaucoma is hereditary.
Glaucoma can be additionally tricky to prevent and treat because of the lack of early symptoms. In fact, it is believed that half the people who have glaucoma do not know. While anyone can potentially develop this condition, some demographics are at higher risk. These groups include:
- Diabetics and those with high blood pressure.
- Everyone over the age of 60, particularly Hispanics.
- African Americans over the age of 40.
- People with a family history of glaucoma.
- Users of long-term steroid medication.
- People who have had an eye injury.
If you are included in any of these groups, we recommend additional vigilance. One of the only symptoms of glaucoma is higher than normal eye pressure. If you begin noticing increased pressure in your eyes, schedule an exam with one of the doctors at Bissell Eye Care. While there is currently no cure for glaucoma, early intervention can often stop the damage in its tracks. Our doctors can help you determine if you are showing signs of glaucoma and determine treatments to help you protect your eyes.
Glaucoma is a serious condition and early treatment is essential to preserve your vision and your general eye health. To ensure proper eye health and potentially prevent glaucoma, you should always schedule annual eye exams. The only way to determine if you are suffering from glaucoma is to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam, often done during your regular annual exam. Call Bissell Eye Care at 724-443-6767 or 724-226-0444 to schedule your annual exam and take full advantage of Glaucoma Awareness Month!
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.