National Glaucoma Awareness Month
Posted by: Georgia Center for Sight
January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month! Glaucoma affects millions of people in the United States, and the numbers are increasing over time. This disease is progressive and difficult to spot because there are no noticeable symptoms. It is possible to go for a very long time without noticing your vision loss; some report losing nearly 40 percent of their sight before taking notice. This is why it’s so important to spread awareness of this disease and attend regular check-ups with your ophthalmologist.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma affects people of all ages but most commonly affects the elderly and middle-aged. It is a group of eye diseases that slowly cause damage to the optic nerve, which causes vision loss. While there is currently no cure for glaucoma, medication and surgery can prevent further vision loss by slowing the disease’s progression. Early detection is key to slowing the disease and preventing vision loss.
Glaucoma results in irreversible blindness. In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of permanent blindness. Over 60 million people worldwide have glaucoma, but it is estimated that nearly half of them are unaware they have the disease. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 5 million people are blind due to glaucoma. The only way to slow the progression of the disease is to have regular eye exams to check on your vision, so awareness is key in preventing glaucoma.
How Can You Help?
There are a few ways you can help raise awareness of glaucoma:
Talk to your friends and family about glaucoma. If you have glaucoma, let your loved ones know so that they can be aware and help you through the process.
Refer your friends to informational websites such as Glaucoma.org so that they can get the information they need to prevent glaucoma.
Work with your community and get involved in organizations that help spread awareness about glaucoma. Fundraisers, informational sessions, and educational campaigns can help prevent permanent blindness due to glaucoma.
Talk to your doctor at the Georgia Center for Sight to get more information on glaucoma. Remember to schedule regular eye exams to make sure your vision is not being lost to the disease. You can schedule an exam through our website, or you can contact us at our office.
Glaucoma is a scary and slow-progressing disease that many are still unaware of. This month, take the time to schedule an eye exam, talk to your loved ones about glaucoma, and help spread awareness. To learn more about vision health, or to schedule an appointment, visit the Georgia Center for Sight website.