January Is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

January Is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

There are more than 60 million people living with glaucoma. By the year 2020 it is estimated that more than 80 million will suffer from this eye disease. Census reports claim that in America alone there are over three million glaucoma sufferers. National vision centers state that there may be many more people suffering with glaucoma since this eye disease begins with no apparent symptoms. Get regular comprehensive eye exams to stop and prevent glaucoma from taking your eyesight.

glaucomaAwarenessGlaucoma belongs to a collection of diseases of the eyes that cause destruction to the optic nerve. The optic nerve bundle carries information starting at the eye and moving to the brain, can be damaged by glaucoma and irreversible blindness is the result. Nerve damage to the optic center occurs when there is high eye pressure. This is called intraocular pressure. The most common form of glaucoma is referred to as open angle glaucoma.

No symptoms of glaucoma can be felt in the early stages, and by the time you realize something is wrong the disease has caused considerable and irreparable damage. There is no cure for glaucoma, but medications and surgeries can slow the progression.

Forms of Glaucoma

Open angle glaucoma is the most familiar form of this eye disease. The pressure in the eye builds up gradually and the optic nerve is slowly damaged. Peripheral vision is lost. Without treatment there will be total blindness. Risk factors of open angle glaucoma consist of high eye pressure, family members with glaucoma and being older than sixty. If you have a thin cornea you are also at risk.

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Acute angle-closure glaucoma results due to an abrupt blockage in the usual movement of eye fluid between the lens and the iris. You may have severe pain, and headaches plus blurred vision, vomiting and nausea. Other symptoms include colored halos surrounding lights. Acute angle-closure glaucoma can be a considered a medical disaster and must be treated straightaway. If no treatment is available there is the possibility of total blindness in one or both eyes.

Prevention

During Glaucoma Awareness Month eye doctors stress the importance of preventive measures. There is little data on how to prevent patients from developing glaucoma but some deterrence techniques include eating a healthy diet, cession of smoking, and maintaining a healthy exercise plan. Take care of your emotional and mental health to provide a strong base if you happen to suffer from glaucoma.

Better eye vision can be helped by eating a diet high in vitamin C and E plus omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamins A and D. Dark green and yellow fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids that contribute to eye health.

You are always being urged to exercise daily. Aerobic activities are highly recommended and studies have proven that increased intraocular pressure can be lowered by exercise. Though this is not fully proven, for your own good health; exercise at least thirty minutes per day.

Do maintain a healthy weight and keep your blood pressure at a normal level. If you have other medical conditions make sure these are taken care of and controlled. By all means, do not smoke and protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses. The best preventive tool of all is to pay regular visits to your eye doctor for comprehensive eye exams. Take advantage of National Glaucoma Awareness Month by looking for specials as well as coupons for reductions on eye exams and eyewear.

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