Let's Talk About Glaucoma

8:28 PM

Imagine a medical condition that has no pain and no symptoms until it is advanced enough to cause permanent blindness?  Unfortunately, this condition is real, and it is called glaucoma.  Since glaucoma typically doesn't have any symptoms associated with it (not even blurry vision or the need for glasses!), only about 50% of people in America that have glaucoma know that they have it.  And without treatment early in the disease process, those affected people are at risk of blindness.  Unfortunately about 10% of people that receive treatment still go blind, so as you can see, treatment and close follow-up with your doctor is essential with this disease.

Artistic rendition of vision loss due to glaucoma, part of the
free materials that you can use to talk about glaucoma
provided by NEHEP via
As an optometrist, I talk about glaucoma every single day, but the only people that I am talking to are people that are taking the time to have an eye exam.  So many people don't have routine ocular health care, and they are under the misconception that their vision screenings at the DMV or a primary care office will catch a major condition. I wish that were true. Unfortunately blinding conditions like macular degeneraiton and glaucoma have very poor universal understanding, and many people believe incorrectly that clear vision means healthy eyes. If you have a chance to talk in your community about eye health, any time you can spread the word to someone that otherwise might have disregarded their eyes you could be saving someone's vision.  Luckily, the National Eye Health Educational Program is there to help us get the word out to larger audiences with free downloadable images, information packets, and even power point presentations that you can use at events or health fairs.  All you need is to volunteer your voice!  Please click this link to visit the full NEHEP site to access all of the great resources available to you to help spread the word about glaucoma.

One of the reasons that I continue to blog is because I am continuously amazed by how often people are searching for information about their eyes.  The internet is a great place to start a conversation about ocular health for those people who aren't learning about it during their eye exam because they don't get them.  Since you might come across this blog looking for contact lens information, or for glasses fashion, and never click on any post with information about ocular health, I have uploaded a side bar image from the NEHEP site so that every person that stumbles upon this website has a chance to learn about glaucoma.  These images are free to use so if you run any website about eyes or glasses, I encourage all of us to help spread this important message.  The NEHEP site also has infographics available for diabetes and macular degeneration.  I encourage anyone running a retail website, be it for ordering glasses, sunglasses, or contact lenses online, to dedicate a small amount of space for these informational graphics!  The internet is not just a place to sell people things--the best thing about the internet is that we have unlimited knowledge right at our finger tips.  Let's band together and do something with it to help make those statistics of blindness something of the past!

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  1. Glaucoma is an eye disease in which harm to the optic nerve leads to progressive, permanent vision loss. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Glaucoma is of two types that are open angle and closed angle glaucoma. The treatment for glaucoma depends upon the nature and harshness of each case.