Many of us have heard of glaucoma and understand that it is an eye disease that can lead to blindness. Here we are going to go into more detail and explain the causes, risk factors and prevention methods for the disease that affects over 4 million Americans.
Glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerve, often the result of intraocular pressure, which leads to progressive irreversible loss of vision.
It is important to get tested for glaucoma often because more than half of the estimated Americans suffering from the disease are unaware of it until significant vision is already lost. While there currently is no cure, early detection may slow the progression of the disease and is the biggest prevention method.
Everyone is at risk for Glaucoma. However, risk factors include African-Americans, Asians, people over age 60, people with family members with Glaucoma, steroid users, or those that have experienced a traumatic eye injury.
You should be tested for Glaucoma every two to four years at your eye doctor’s office with an increase in frequency of tests after age 40.
The most important thing to remember is that Glaucoma does not shorten your life span and that living with the disease is possible. The best thing you can do for yourself is to maintain a healthy body, continue getting the proper vitamins and nutrients your body needs, and regularly test for the disease.
Source: Glaucoma Research Foundation