January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and we would like to take this opportunity to spread the word about this vision damaging disease. But first things first…
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition resulting from a build up of pressure behind the eye. Ultimately, this buildup of pressure damages the optic nerve and causes disconnect from the eye to the brain, leading to vision loss or blindness. However, the reason that this disease is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world is because of the lack of symptoms and the fact that there is still no cure.
Who is at risk?
While everyone is at risk for glaucoma, there are certain people who have a slightly higher risk. That includes people who have a family history of the disease, those over the age of 60, people of African or Asian descent, anyone who has had an eye injury and those who have used steroids.
How do I protect myself from glaucoma?
Because there are no clear symptoms of glaucoma, it’s difficult to prevent this disease. However, to protect your vision from the damage glaucoma can have, early intervention is essential. Regular comprehensive glaucoma exams performed by an optometrist are the best way to intervene. It’s recommended that people 40 and under have an exam every two to four years, people age 40 to 54 every one to three years, people age 55 to 64 every one to two years and people 65 and older every six to twelve months.
As mentioned above, one of the things that increases your chances for glaucoma is an eye injury. By wearing protective eyewear you’ll not only keep your eyes safe, you help improve your chances of avoiding glaucoma.
Even in the winter! While this time of year is generally darker and grayer, it’s important to remember to keep wearing your sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses protects your eyes from harmful UV rays, and ultimately keeps your eyes healthier and your vision stronger.
Exercise benefits overall health, and as a result, can also have a slight impact on lowering intraocular pressure.
It’s estimated that 3 million people in the United States are living with glaucoma… however, only half of those people know they have it. Protect your vision. Help spread the word about Glaucoma Awareness Month, and take these four steps to help keep your eyes healthy.
Questions about Eye Elegance, and how we can help? Visit one of our two locations in Uptown and the Montrose District.
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