Did you know your eyes are the fastest moving muscle in the human body? Your eyes are important muscles- they work hard and they work fast. There are over 2 million working parts in your eyes.
Your eyes are amazing and intricate. It is quite fascinating how hard the human eye works. If you aren’t experiencing eye discomfort, it can be easy to neglect recommended eye exams.
Though it is understandable to have the tendency to skip them, regular eye exams are very important to your health. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, making now a great time to learn about this eye condition that affects nearly 3 million Americans.
Silent and Sneaky
Staying proactive with your own health is often the best form of medicine. Do you see your doctor for regular eye exams? Glaucoma is symptomless until it has progressively started causing vision changes.
What is Glaucoma?
Although there are many causes and types of glaucoma, the two listed below are the most common. Many of the less prevalent forms of glaucoma are subtypes of these two.
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
This constitutes 90% of glaucoma cases. This common type of glaucoma is often referred to as primary or chronic glaucoma. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG) is caused by slow clogging and slow draining, which causes increased pressure of the optic nerve. This is a slow but progressive form of glaucoma.
This less common form of glaucoma is caused by blocked canals, which lead to a sudden increase of intraocular pressure. The symptoms present quickly with Angle-Closure Glaucoma and are often described as severe.
What are the Symptoms?
Most glaucoma presents in the early stages without any symptoms As mentioned above, POAG accounts for 90% of glaucoma. This type of glaucoma presents without symptoms until the damage is already occurring. By the time symptoms start, patients are usually already experiencing difficulties with peripheral vision or even peripheral blindness.
For this reason, it is important to have eye exams scheduled on a regular basis. Your eye doctor will be able to detect and explain any changes to your eyes before you are likely to notice any symptoms of glaucoma.
What Causes Glaucoma?
When the optic nerve starts to break down and deteriorate, it causes an increase in eye pressure. This high eye pressure causes the damage seen in glaucoma. Damage to the optic nerve is permanent.
The best prevention is to make sure you go in for regularly scheduled eye exams, as many symptoms first noted by patients occur once glaucoma damage has already begun. Eye doctors are able to diagnose glaucoma with their specialized tools before you can physically tell there is any damage.
Some Facts About Glaucoma:
- There is treatment, but there is no cure.
- More than 200,000 cases per year are diagnosed in the USA.
- Many people don’t understand the importance of regular eye exams? Learn more about the risk factors.
- When glaucoma is detected early, a very common treatment is eye drops to help lower the eye pressure.
- Glaucoma is a life-long condition that will require long-term care with the eye doctor.
- Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness.
- More than 2.7 million Americans have Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma.
If you don’t already get your eyes checked regularly, hopefully learning a bit about glaucoma has motivated you to start. Get in touch with your eye doctor or local eye institute for an eye exam. Be sure to ask about the risk factors and the best ways to keep your eyes healthy.
We know you are working hard to maintain your health and wellness. Now is the time to get your eye exam scheduled- you are worth it!Tags: eyesight, glaucoma, health, preventive health