January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

admin Eye Care

More than four million people in the United States have glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and destroy eyesight. Unfortunately, nearly half of those with glaucoma are not even aware that they have it. Are you one of them? You owe it to yourself to find out by getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam that includes having drops put in your eye. With its painless and gradual loss of vision, glaucoma may have no early warning signs, but it can be detected during a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Anyone can develop glaucoma, but those at higher risk for developing the disease include:

• African Americans over age 40
• Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
• People with a family history of the disease

During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, we can see inside the eye to detect signs of glaucoma, such as subtle changes to the optic nerve, before any symptoms appear. This allows us to determine if you have glaucoma or are at risk for it, to monitor your condition, to treat glaucoma as early as possible, and to look for other vision problems. Once symptoms appear, it may be too late to prevent vision loss and the progression to blindness.

If glaucoma is detected early, treatments such as eye drops or surgery can slow or stop vision loss. High pressure inside the eye, which may be associated with glaucoma, does not by itself mean that you have glaucoma.

Please be sure to schedule your annual eye exam. Call us at 636-728-0111.