It’s a good time to check in on your eye health because January is Glaucoma Awareness Month!
More than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma – and the National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, and the World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a term used to describe a group of conditions that are characterized by progressive optic nerve damage in the eye, often linked to a buildup of pressure. This increased pressure damages the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting images to your brain. If this damage continues, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. To learn more about this condition, click here.
Glaucoma is often called “the sneak thief of sight” because there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent.
As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.
Glaucoma is also the leading cause of irreversible blindness.
So what can we do to raise awareness? Here are some tips from the Glaucoma Research Foundation:
- Talk to friends and family about glaucoma. If you have glaucoma, don’t keep it a secret. Let your family members know. Refer them to www.glaucoma.org.
- Request to have a free educational booklet sent to you or a loved one.
- Get involved in your community through fundraisers, information sessions, group discussions, inviting expert speakers, and more.
- Connect on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates on glaucoma research, treatments, news and information.
Furthermore, the National Eye Health Educational Program has a tool kit available for download. And click here to learn more about glaucoma – including different types, how to get diagnosed, and treatment options.