Glaucoma – The Sneak Thief of Sight
Glaucoma has been nicknamed “the sneak thief of sight” because it is painless and can cause irreversible damage before people even notice any symptoms.
Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve, the connection between the eye and the brain. A layer of optic nerve fibers make up part of the eye’s retina, and it can be damaged from high pressure or poor circulation.
In fact, glaucoma should be a concern for anyone suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure. There are many causes of glaucoma, but the end result can be vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma has impacted the vision of more than half of the 2.5 million Americans who have the disease, and is the second leading cause of blindness.
It may be surprising to learn that the average age of onset of glaucoma is 54 years old. If you are over the age of 40 and have more than one of the following risk factors, you should be tested for glaucoma every year.
Risk Factors for Glaucoma:
- Family history of glaucoma
- High blood pressure
- African or Asian descent
- High degree of nearsightedness
- High eye pressure