January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. According to the National Eye Institute, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve which can result in vision loss and blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma often shows no warning signs at the early stages. Vision loss caused by glaucoma is irreversible.
Am I at risk?
There are several groups of people who are more at risk for glaucoma than others. Those include:
- African Americans over the age of 40.
- Individuals who are 60 and older, especially the Hispanic and Latino community.
- Anyone with a family history of glaucoma.
Approximately 2.7 million people have glaucoma, and half of those with it don’t even know they have it. In order to detect glaucoma, a comprehensive dilated eye exam is recommended.
What should I do to catch glaucoma early?
Consider having a dilated, comprehensive exam every 1-2 years. Early detection is important to saving your eyesight if you have glaucoma.