The month of January is recognized nationally as the glaucoma awareness month. Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that can cause blindness through damaging the optic nerve. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, over 60 million people in the world have glaucoma and over 3 million of those people are in the United States. They estimate that half of those 60 million people do not even know they have glaucoma.
Glaucoma can show no symptoms and therefore it can be difficult to catch until blindness has occurred. Prevention and early detection is important as blindness is then irreversible. The Glaucoma Research Foundation recommends getting a comprehensive eye exam regularly. Currently there is no cure for glaucoma but there is ongoing research in hopes of finding one.
Through early detection, there are medications and/or possible surgeries that can slow the vision loss. Certain people are at higher risk of getting glaucoma, including people over 60, family members of people diagnosed with it, those with diabetes and certain ethnicities. Help raise glaucoma awareness this January!
Here’s how you can help raise awareness about glaucoma this January:
- Talk to your family and friends about glaucoma.
- If you have glaucoma, share it with your family.
- You can get involved in community events and fundraisers near you.
- The Glaucoma Research Foundation can provide you with a free educational booklet (visit their website below to order one).
- Post educational information in your healthcare setting.
Talk with your healthcare provider if you are at risk or have additional questions/concerns. Click the source below to learn more about glaucoma, current research and ongoing events.