January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma, often referred to as “the sneak thief of sight” is an ocular disease in which patients gradually lose their vision without any symptoms or warning signs. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, with over 3 million cases nationwide.
Glaucoma vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain. Once vision is lost to glaucoma, it cannot be restored. Many patients have lost as much as 40% of their vision before they notice decreased visual acuity. This means that having an annual eye exam to detect any potential risk factors or early onset of the disease is crucial to preventing permanent vision loss.
While glaucoma typically affects people over 60, there are several risk factors to consider.
Those at higher risk for glaucoma are:
- African Americans
- Asian Americans
- Hispanic/Latinx Americans
- People over 60 years of age
- People with a family history of glaucoma
- Diabetic patients
- Patients with extreme nearsightedness
This list is not all inclusive, so regardless of the risk factors, it is important for to have an annual eye exam to prevent vision loss.
While there is currently no cure for glaucoma, treatment is available. There are medication eye drops, and surgical options available for glaucoma patients, and will depend on the severity of your symptoms and progression. Your physician will work with you to determine the best course of treatment.
Importance of Annual Eye Exams
According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. The best thing you can do to prevent vision loss is to have an annual eye exam with one of our Houston eye doctors.
Houstonians have trusted the professionals at Whitsett Vision Group for over 20 years. With locations in Katy, Spring, and Memorial, it doesn’t matter where in Houston you’re located – there’s an office near you! To schedule your annual eye exam, glaucoma screening, LASIK consultation, or cataract screening, call us today at 713-365-9099, or click here to schedule now!