January is Glaucoma Awareness Month!
Glaucoma is a type of disease that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. It is characterized by a loss of retinal ganglion cells, or nerve fibers, which send signals from the eye to the brain. There are different types of glaucoma that can affect the eye. The most common type occurs when the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises. This pressure causes mechanical stress on the optic nerve and can lead to permanent vision loss. Unfortunately, in early stages of glaucoma, there are no symptoms, so yearly eye exams are very important for early diagnosis. Approximately, 4 million Americans are affected, and half may not know they have the disease. With early treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.
Who should be checked with glaucoma?
- Anyone with a family history of glaucoma
- Anyone with diabetes or high blood pressure
- All patients over the age of 65 years old
- African Americans and Hispanics should be checked after the age of 55 years old, as there is a higher prevalence of glaucoma in these populations
In our office we specialize in early detection of glaucoma. We use advanced technology to analyze the structure and health of the optic nerve. Studies show that if glaucoma is detected and treated early, there is less chance of significant vision loss. We use the most advanced tecnology available combined with innovative methods using current glaucoma diagnostic procedures. This yields a synergistic result allowing for an earlier detection of glaucoma resulting in less damage to the eye over time. Our office may very likely have the largest data base of patients in the world using these specialized methods.