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The Silent Thief of Vision

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month so we'd like to share some information about this silent thief of vision. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve which results in vision loss.

"The optic nerve is a bundle of about 1 million individual nerve fibers that transmits the visual signals from the eye to the brain. In the most common form of glaucoma, the fluid pressure inside the eye increases. This increase in pressure may cause progressive damage to the optic nerve and loss of nerve fibers. Advanced glaucoma may even lead to blindness.

Not everyone with high eye pressure will develop glaucoma, and some people with normal eye pressure will develop glaucoma. When the pressure inside a person's eye is too high for a particular optic nerve, whatever that pressure measurement may be, glaucoma will develop.

Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It most often occurs in people over age 40, although an infant (congenital) form of glaucoma exists. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans over the age of 40 and Hispanics over the age of 60 have an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Other risk factors include thinner corneas, chronic eye inflammation and taking medications that increase the pressure in the eyes.

The most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, develops slowly and usually without any symptoms. Many people are not aware they have the condition until they have significant vision loss. Initially, glaucoma affects peripheral or side vision, but it can advance to central vision loss. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to significant vision loss in both eyes and may even lead to blindness." (American Optometric Association)

A yearly eye exam is recommended for all adults but especially those that fall in the higher risk categories for glaucoma. Because there are often no symptoms, we want to catch any changes long before you experience any vision loss. If it's been over a year since your last eye exam, consider scheduling one today!

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or Call us at (740) 761-2020

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