January is Glaucoma Awareness Month! Did you know that more than 3 million people in the United States have this sight-stealing disease? In fact, the National Eye Institute has projected that this number will surpass 4 million within the next 10 years, which is a 58% increase.
This month is an important reminder to go in for routine eye exams and vision testing, as it could just save your sight and protect the health of your eyes.
What is Glaucoma?
According to the National Eye Institute, glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve. The most common kind of the disease is called open-angle glaucoma.
There are not often signs of glaucoma in the early stages of the disease, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “the sneak thief of sight,” with figures from The Glaucoma Research Foundation citing it accounts for 9% to 12% of all cases of blindness in the United States.
Glaucoma is more prevalent amongst certain communities, specifically African American and Latino populations. Other high risk factors include:
- Those over the age of 60 (age 40 for African Americans)
- History of diagnosis within family
- Having a condition/s such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease
- Severe nearsightedness
- Eye injury/trauma
- Abnormal eye anatomy
Treatment for Glaucoma
While there is no cure for glaucoma, early intervention can oftentimes stop the damage and preserve vision. Your eye health and vision are one of the many physical components assessed during one of Hoag Executive Health’s comprehensive medical examinations. Contact us today at (949) 202-4923 to learn more!
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