What is Glaucoma, And What Can You Do About It?

January is National Glaucoma Awareness month. Over 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma, and many don’t know they have it until symptoms become severe. 

Prevent Glaucoma with Regular Eye Exams 

Glaucoma is a condition in which damage to the optic nerve causes vision loss. Because this vision loss tends to creep in through peripheral vision, many people with glaucoma are not aware that they have it. The vision loss caused by glaucoma is irreversible. 

Early identification and treatment of glaucoma can help you slow or prevent vision loss. Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma, but medications and surgeries are available to protect the optic nerve from further damage.  

Schedule an annual eye exam if you are: 

  • 60 or older, 
  • Extremely near-sighted,  
  • Diabetic, 
  • Related to someone with glaucoma. 

African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and people of Hispanic descent are at higher risk for glaucoma. Among African-Americans, glaucoma is the number one cause of blindness. Black Americans are 6 to 8 times more likely to develop glaucoma than white Americans.  

Vision loss is the only noticeable symptom of glaucoma, and most people don’t notice it until they have lost 40% of their vision. There are five quick diagnostic tests to determine whether or not you have glaucoma, so be sure to get them at your annual eye exam. 

If You Have Been Diagnosed With Glaucoma 

If you are living with glaucoma, you and your doctor will carefully track your intraocular pressure (IOP). You may receive treatments, based on the type of glaucoma you have. If you are experiencing vision loss, take these steps to safeguard and improve your quality of life: 

  • Make your home safer by removing obstacles and tripping hazards. 
  • Use assistive devices to help you get around safely.  
  • Find a canine or human companion who can assist you. 
  • Take advantage of services near you that help people with visual impairment practice mobility and other skills of independent living. 

Call Cypress if you or a loved one is in need of home care assistance in Arizona. We match caregivers to clients based on skill sets and compatibility. 

Posted on January 3, 2018