Eye Care For You

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

J.A. Parker
J.A. Parker

Plan to “See Well Into the Future”: Get an Eye Exam to Save Your Vision from Glaucoma

More than four million people in the United States have glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve and can lead to blindness. Unfortunately, nearly half of those with glaucoma are not even aware that they have it. Are you one of them?

You owe it to yourself to find out by getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam that includes having drops put in your eye. With the painless and gradual loss of vision that can occur, many with glaucoma have no warning signs. But, by having a comprehensive dilated eye examination, this condition can be detected.

Studies show that treatment during the early stages of glaucoma can control the disease and prevent future vision loss and even blindness. This is why eye care professionals encourage people at higher risk for glaucoma to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam every year. Anyone can develop glaucoma, but those at higher risk for developing the disease include: • African Americans over age 40 • Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans • People with a family history of the disease During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, tests are performed by your eye care professional to detect any signs of glaucoma, such as changes in the optic nerve, elevated eye pressures, or loss of side vision. If signs are detected, a diagnostic and treatment plan is devised to confirm the diagnosis, help lower the eye pressures, and prevent further damage to the optic nerves. In some cases, once symptoms appear, it may be difficult to prevent vision loss and blindness may result.

Early detection and treatment is the key. Treatment with eye drops or surgery can slow or halt the progression of the disease. High eye pressures, which may be associated with glaucoma, does not by itself mean that you have this “sneak thief of sight.” Only a comprehensive dilated eye exam and evaluation of the optic nerve by an eye care professional can confirm this diagnosis.

If you are in need of an eye care provider I invite you to visit EnVision Eye Care.

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