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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Glaucoma Awareness

January is Glaucoma Awareness month  Glaucoma is a vision impairment that causes damage to the optic nerve in the eye that worsens over time. Pressure inside the eye can build up and take the sight of an individual.

The leading cause of preventable blindness in the U.S is glaucoma Focus is placed on the word glaucoma. Some tips to help you prevent this terrible disease from yourself and your loved ones:

One of the best ways to prevent glaucoma is to get regular eye exams. Half of those that suffer have no idea that they even have glaucoma. Those at risk for developing glaucoma should have a complete eye exam including eye dilation every year or two. People over 60 with close family members who have glaucoma, African americans, Asian Hispanics, and those who may have had eye injury, nearsighted, people with hypertension, and steroid users are among the top risk but regular eye exams are a good idea for everyone.

Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma

The signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary from one individual to the next.  Top signs and symptoms

  • Vision Loss
  • Eye Redness
  • Hazy Eye (Infants in particular)
  • Seeing Halos Around Lights
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Eye Pain
  • Narrowing of Vision (Tunnel Vision)
The test for glaucoma focuses on the optic nerve.  It allows the optometrist to see changes in the eye as glaucoma progresses.  This type of test is standard, does not cause pain, and takes very little time to administer

If diagnosed with glaucoma it is very important to take the medication prescribed. It is estimated that around 40% glaucoma patients do not follow guidelines prescribed to them. Taking prescribed medication exactly as prescribed is essential to prevent sight loss.

Every health professional you see should be aware of your glaucoma diagnosis and the medication you take. Knowledge is the key to prevention and treatment.

Reporting any changes in your eyes is very important to keeping eyesight once diagnosed with glaucoma

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