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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Here's What You Need to Know.

Glaucoma is a disease which affects the optic nerve in the eye and can lead to vision loss and blindness. According to the National Eye Institute, it is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States. While it can affect people of any age group, those over the age of 60 tend to be the most affected. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month and we have compiled a list of things you should know about the disease.

1. There’s more than one form of Glaucoma

Rather than one disease, Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. It occurs when fluids build up, increasing pressure inside of the eye, thus damaging the optic nerve. The most common form is open-angle glaucoma. Other forms of Glaucoma include closed angle glaucoma, congenital, and secondary glaucoma.

2. Early symptoms are virtually non-existent

In many diseases, the earlier it is detected, the better the chance a person has of overcoming it. Glaucoma, however, typically doesn’t have early symptoms which is why many people are unaware they have the disease until later. That is why it’s important to get regular Comprehensive Eye Exams.

3. There is no cure

Glaucoma causes permanent damage, however, there are treatments that can help prevent any further damage. For example, medicated eye drops can be prescribed by an Ophthalmologist. There is also laser surgery, depending on which type of Glaucoma a person has been diagnosed with.

Has Glaucoma affected you or someone in your family? Leave a comment.

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