This month is Glaucoma Awareness Month. There are no warning signs of Glaucoma, and once sight is lost, it cannot be reversed. Glaucoma is called the thief of sight. Here are a few reasons why Glaucoma Awareness Month is so important!
1. In the UK, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. About 1 in 50 people over 40 years of age and 1 in 10 people over 75 years of age have chronic open-angle glaucoma. Many people are unaware that they have it because glaucoma often has no symptoms at all. Keeping our eyes healthy and protecting vision starts with awareness and frequent eye exams.
The best way to protect eyesight is by increasing awareness of glaucoma by making regular eye exams a priority. Book an appointment
2. Glaucoma Awareness Month is a crucial time to keep people informed about this serious eye condition. This group of eye conditions affects the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. When there is abnormally high pressure in the eye, the optic nerve is damaged. This can lead to partial vision loss or even blindness.
Glaucoma can affect anyone at any age, but it is most common in people over 60. Both eyes are affected, but one may be more severely affected than the other. As the condition progresses the symptoms will vary.
These symptoms include:
- Eye pain
- Blind spots in your peripheral or central vision
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Lights appearing to have halos
- Experiencing severe headaches
- Tunnel vision occurs in the advanced stages
Glaucoma also presents symptoms that are not specific to this eye condition. Any time you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact the optician and make an appointment with the optometrist to determine what is going on. It could be glaucoma or it could be another eye condition.
3. We Can Lose as Much as 40% of Our Vision Without Noticing. While it may seem strange, our mind is unaware of what it is not seeing. That is why many sufferers of glaucoma lose their sight without noticing it for years. Needless to say, this is one reason why regular vision screening is key to preserving our vision.
Our body compensates for the vision already lost even if we don’t realise it. Due to this, once we reach the age of 60, all of us should schedule an annual optician appointment, or even more often if we have a family history of the disease.
4. The purpose of Glaucoma Awareness Month is to educate the communities about the importance of routine eye exams. Glaucoma can be prevented by staying ahead of it. Routine eye exams are the easiest way to do that. Glaucoma is diagnosed based on an analysis of personal and family history, as well as a thorough eye examination.
Our optometrists may perform various tests, including:
- Measurement of corneal thickness by pachymetry
- Visual field testing to determine if there are any areas of vision loss
- Tonometry is a method of measuring intraocular pressure
- Diagnosis of drainage angles using gonioscopy
- Imaging tests such as Optical Coherence Tomography and dilated eye exams to determine whether the optic nerve has been damaged
Glaucoma comes in many forms, and many of them don’t have specific symptoms. The vision loss is so gradual that any change in vision isn’t noticed until it is at an advanced stage when vision loss has already occurred.
Since vision loss from glaucoma is permanent, it’s essential to schedule frequent eye exams. Glaucoma can be detected in its early stages by regular eye exams. The earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the more likely it is to be stopped or slowed down.
A combination of oral medications, surgery, and prescription eye drops may be used in the initial treatment of glaucoma. Surgical intervention may be necessary in order to improve the drainage of fluid from the eye, lowering intraocular pressure.
5. Supporting People with Glaucoma During Glaucoma Awareness Month.
Glaucoma Awareness Month also presents an opportunity to share tips for living with glaucoma, including:
Glaucoma patients may need to take different eye drops throughout the day in order to manage their intraocular pressure levels. Preventing the condition from worsening by strictly following prescription guidance. Maintain a schedule and take the medication at the right time. Set phone alerts to get reminders throughout the day.
AVOIDING ACCIDENTS AND FALLS
The loss of side vision caused by glaucoma can increase the risk of falls and accidents for some people. If this is something you are familiar with, try marking clear boundaries in your home. Paint or colored tape can be applied to table edges, doorways, counters, and drawers.
A scanning method can also be used, which involves carefully observing the environment or surroundings. In this way, it will be possible to identify easily missed items and steps.
6. During Glaucoma Awareness Month, specialists raise awareness of the disease. Risk factors for the disease include:
- Thinning corneas
- Eye pressure that is too high
- Those with a family history of glaucoma
Habits that can reduce the risk of glaucoma-related vision loss include:
- Consume lots of leafy greens and fruits
- Regular and moderate exercise is essential
- Stay healthy by maintaining a healthy weight
- Consume coffee moderately, or better yet, sip tea instead
- Avoid smoking
A Cutting-Edge Approach for Glaucoma Referral
This Glaucoma Awareness Month is the perfect time to give our eyes a little TLC? Book an appointment with Allegro Optical in Greenfield or Meltham! Having regular eye exams at all ages is the best way to maintain good eye health!