January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, which serves as a good reminder of how important regular comprehensive eye exams are.
Glaucoma, caused by pressure in the eye that can result in damage to the optic nerve, is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. One of the most difficult aspects of the disease is that people often don’t seek diagnosis or treatment until it has progressed significantly. The good news is that it is responsive to early intervention, and comprehensive eye exams can help us detect the initial onset of glaucoma.
Though often associated with old age, glaucoma can affect anyone, including small children and babies. The lead singer of U2, Bono, has been treated for glaucoma for the past two decades. This shows that the disease can develop early on and the right treatment can ward off blindness. People with a family history of glaucoma should let us know. Certain ethnic groups, such as African-Americans or Hispanics, also are at higher risk, as are people who have diabetes or are severely nearsighted.
Read more about glaucoma here and make sure to schedule your annual comprehensive exam for 2016 so that we can help you take the best care of your eyes.
Photo courtesy of freeimages.com/stafiniak