Glaucoma is known as the “thief of sight” because there are usually no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s gone forever.
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Increased awareness of glaucoma also includes encouraging people who are at risk to go for eye tests in order to catch it early or prevent further loss of vision.
Glaucoma happens when the nerve cells that transmit information from the eye to the brain, become damaged. This prevents visual information from reaching the brain. The eyeball is filled with fluid that is constantly replaced and when it doesn’t drain properly, it causes excessive pressure in the eye. This pressure the reason behind the damaged nerve cells.
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation (US), over 60 million people worldwide have glaucoma.
There is no cure for glaucoma but medication or surgery can slow down or prevent further loss of vision.
To diagnose glaucoma, the optometrist will look at the nerves in the back of the eyeball, the eye’s drainage capabilities, measure the pressure in the eye, and test the file of vision.
Glaucoma commonly affects the middle-aged and elderly but it can also affect people of all ages.
Risk factors of glaucoma include:
-people over 60
-family members diagnosed with glaucoma
-people who are very short sighted
The best way to prevent glaucoma is early detection and treatment.