January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month – Beware the “Sneak Thief of Sight”
Glaucoma Awareness Month this January, EyeSmart reminds readers that glaucoma remains a leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. A condition in which the pressure within the eye is elevated and damages the optic nerve, glaucoma affects more than 2.7 million Americans age 40 and older. Half of all people with glaucoma do not yet know because the disease often has no early warning symptoms. Because glaucoma can quietly damage vision if left untreated, it is often called the “Sneak Thief of Sight.”

The good news? Knowing your risks for glaucoma and monitoring your eye health with regular visits to an ophthalmologist – a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions – can save your sight.

Common risk factors for glaucoma include:

Age
Family history of glaucoma
African, Hispanic or Asian ancestry
Nearsightedness
History of elevated eye pressure
History of eye injury
History of high-dose steroid use
High blood pressure
Conditions that affect blood circulation

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