Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Vision

Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Vision

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month!  Glaucoma is referred to as the “silent thief of vision,” according to Gerald R. Schultz, M.D., F.A.C.S., Ophthalmologist at JFK Memorial Hospital. That is because it quietly attacks, slowly robbing people of their vision with very few symptoms and without pain. The National Eye Institute estimates that 3 million Americans have glaucoma and half of those don’t know they have it. Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Vision
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can lead to damage to the eye’s optic nerve and result in blindness. Most symptoms will go undetected by those afflicted by the disease, which is why early detection and treatment of the disease is critical in preventing vision impairment and blindness, according to The Glaucoma Foundation. If the disease is not treated in its early stages, symptoms will begin to appear. They are loss of side vision and ultimately decreasing forward vision, which eventually leads to blindness. Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Vision
Everyone should be concerned about glaucoma and its effects, but there are a handful of factors that put some people more at risk than others. These factors include: Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Vision

  • Age – Glaucoma occurs more frequently as people age. Those over 45 are more at risk for this disease.
  • Family History – Glaucoma appears to be hereditary, according to The Glaucoma Foundation.
  • Abnormally High Intraocular Pressure (IOP) – High IOP is the most important risk factor, according to The Glaucoma Foundation. The only way to diagnose whether you have high IOP is to be tested by an ophthalmologist.
  • Race – According to the National Eye Institute, African-Americans, especially those over 40, are at higher risk.

“Clear vision is vital to our daily functions and how we live. However, many people take their vision for granted and ignore minor symptoms that can cause major problems if not treated by an ophthalmologist,” said Dr. Schultz. “Glaucoma is evidence of why it is vital to get regular eye exams in order to detect any potential problems that can cause permanent damage to an individual’s eyesight.”

Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Vision

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

As Director of Sales and Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and she was a primary caregiver.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 104-year-old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 24 years and they have 3 children.

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