Glaucoma causes debilitating vision loss if left untreated, and more than 2.7 million men and women in America over the age of 40 suffer from this degenerative eye disease. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. These facts can help you understand the importance of regular eye exams and the burden that comes with severe vision loss:
- Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in America, falling behind cataracts, which affect more than 24.4. million Americans over the age of 40. However, cataracts are easily removed whereas glaucoma has no known cure.
- Anyone can develop glaucoma. The average age for glaucoma is 45 and older, but children and babies can develop congenital glaucoma, although, it is rare. You are especially susceptible to glaucoma if someone in your family has had it in the past.
- Once you’ve lost part of your vision, it can’t be restored. Early detection is the most important aspect when it comes to preserving vision. Don’t wait until you’re experiencing symptoms to schedule an eye exam.
- A comprehensive dilated eye exam is the best way to detect glaucoma in its early stages. If you’re at an elevated risk for glaucoma, you should have an exam every one to two years.
- Glaucoma causes irreversible damage to your optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting visual information to your brain. A damaged optic nerve will not be able to successfully send visual signals to your brain, thus impeding on your vision. You will slowly lose your side vision, and as it progresses, your central vision will deteriorate as well.
There are some potentially effective treatments being tested through the National Eye Institute such as a contact lens that dispenses medication into the eye, possibly reducing the need for pills or eye drops. There are also lab and patient studies underway, one of which involves transforming stem cells from the patient into retinal ganglion cells found in the optic nerve.
Glaucoma may be a leading cause of blindness, but it is manageable if found early and treated correctly. Our eye doctors in Poughkeepsie can develop a glaucoma treatment plan for you. Some of the options we offer include:
- Eye drops
- Laser treatments
- Surgical procedures
Schedule your comprehensive dilated eye exam with one of our eye doctors today at 845-454-1025 . The Seeta Eye Centers serve clients in Poughkeepsie, Yorktown, Hudson Valley and surrounding areas of New York.