January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month – The Pennsylvania Association for the Blind is working to spread the word about this “Sight-Stealing” disease
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. However with early treatment, serious vision loss can be prevented. Glaucoma is often referred to as “sight-stealing” because at first, glaucoma has no symptoms, causes no pain, and vision stays normal. As glaucoma remains untreated, people may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eyes and over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains. There is no cure for Glaucoma and any vision loss cannot be regained. Treatment can only prevent any further loss of vision.
Who is at Risk?
Glaucoma can strike all ages, even as young as newborn babies, but those at a higher risk are people over the age of 60, (this disease affects 1 in 200 people by the age of 50, but as many as 1 in 10 people by the age of 80) people of African, Asian and Hispanic descent, diabetics, people who are severely nearsighted and those people who have family members already diagnosed with Glaucoma.
What can be done?
Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness, and early detection is the only way to protect your eyes from serious vision loss. Everyone should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year and encourage family and friends to do the same.
In just a blink of an eye, Glaucoma can steal vision from what appears to be a perfectly healthy eye. The Pennsylvania Association for the Blind urges everyone to have their eyes tested before a costly and irreversible mistake is made. For additional helpful information, visit www.pablind.org.
Contact: Katie Schock – PA Assn. f/t Blind Phone: 717-766-2020 Email: Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org
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