A new year awaits with the promise of more opportunities and a lifetime of great memories!
Wouldn’t it be tragic, though, if you missed out on witnessing precious moments like a child’s graduation or a family wedding because you became blinded by undiagnosed glaucoma?
It sounds like an extreme scenario, but you could actually have glaucoma without any recognizable symptoms.
- It can hit you so fast that you could lose 40% of your vision before you notice something is wrong; and once vision is lost, it’s permanent.
- Known as the "sneaky thief of sight," glaucoma is a collection of eye diseases that can gradually and rapidly "steal sight without warning."
The Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) reports that it is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, affecting more than 3 million Americans. There is no cure yet, only medications and costly surgical procedures that can slow the progress of the disease or prevent further vision loss.
For National Glaucoma Awareness Month, we encourage everyone to educate themselves, their family and friends about how to protect vision health.
- Get a comprehensive eye exam. Glaucoma starts by affecting peripheral vision, so it’s not noticed right away, but can then creep up on you causing significant and permanent vision loss. If detected right away, glaucoma can be treated immediately.
- Know the risk factors. Those who are at a greater risk include:
- People of African, Asian or Hispanic descent
- People over the age of 60
- Family members of people who already have glaucoma
- People who are severely nearsighted
- People with diabetes
- Help raise awareness! Tell everyone you know about the risks for glaucoma, using these helpful resources:
Since almost half of all people with diabetes are at risk of developing glaucoma (not to mention the risk factors for the millions more with prediabetes conditions), it is highly critical that one take the proper precautions.
- Check your blood glucose levels regularly.
- Maintain healthier cholesterol & blood pressure rates.
- Schedule an annual dilated eye exam!
For more information, check out this recent article from the GRF on "Diabetes and Your Eyesight."
See your future ... be your future. Help us spread the word during National Glaucoma Awareness Month and “keep an eye” on improving your own health for 2018 and beyond!