Health & Wellness Blog
Information posted is for information, entertainment, or educational purposes only. Nothing is intended to be medical advice or to replace the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.
National Glaucoma Awareness Month
Posted by Scott filed under Healthcare Observance
January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Millions of Americans are affected by glaucoma, a disease which results in permanent loss of vision. Glaucoma awareness month seeks to raise awareness about glaucoma and to remind people of the importance of regular eye exams to prevent widespread blindness.
Glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerve, which connects the retina to the brain. This damage is caused by pressure in the eye that occurs when fluid in the eye, called aqueous humor, builds up. The cause of this pressure isn’t completely known, but some possible causes include:
- Certain medications
- Reduced blood flow to the optic nerve
- High blood pressure
There are certain factors that may increase the odds of developing glaucoma, including:
- Being over 60
- Having a family member with glaucoma (glaucoma tends to run in families)
- Being black, Asian, or Hispanic
- Certain conditions such as heart disease or diabetes
- Being extremely nearsighted or extremely farsighted
Signs and Symptoms
There are different types of glaucoma, which some showing different symptoms. The most common type, primary open angle glaucoma, has no symptoms except gradual eye loss. This is why it’s important to get regular eye exams, so this glaucoma can be detected.
Acute closure glaucoma is more serious, and it has several symptoms, such as:
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Redness in eye
- Seeing colored rings around lights
If you exhibit these symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
Currently, there is no known cure for glaucoma. However, there are steps can be taken to prevent it, such as:
- Regular eye exams. The most important way to prevent glaucoma is to get your eyes checked at least once a year. Eye exams can detect glaucoma before any serious damage occurs, which can preserve your vision.
- Know your family history. If glaucoma runs in your family, you may need more than one eye exam per year.
- Exercise. Exercising may help decrease pressure in your eye, keeping glaucoma at bay.
- Wear eye protection when working with tools or when playing certain sports.
Glaucoma Research Foundation. (2018). “January is Glaucoma Awareness Month.” Retrieved from: https://www.glaucoma.org/news/glaucoma-awareness-month.php
Holland, Kimberly. (2016). “Glaucoma.” Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/glaucoma#causes
Mayo Clinic. (2018). “Glaucoma.” Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/glaucoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20372839
National Eye Institute. (2015). “Facts About Glaucoma.” Retrieved from: https://nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts