Why Should You Be Tested for Glaucoma?
Because it is a disease that, left undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to visual loss and even blindness in the absence of noticeable symptoms. By the time you notice symptoms such as blurred vision, it is very likely that you have lost a significant amount of vision. Unfortunately, once this happens vision cannot be restored.
The good news is that your ophthalmologist can detect and then treat early signs of glaucoma. During January's national Glaucoma Awareness Month, ophthalmologists at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center remind those at risk for glaucoma to make an appointment for a thorough eye examination.
More than 2.2 million Americans over the age of 40 have glaucoma and half do not know they have it. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases causing optic nerve damage. The optic nerve carries images from the retina, which is the specialized light-sensing tissue, to the brain so that we can see. Although there is no "cure" for glaucoma, early detection and treatment usually can preserve vision. If left untreated, however, glaucoma can lead to blindness. In fact, glaucoma is the most common cause of blindness among African Americans and the second most common cause of blindness in the U.S. overall.
Since glaucoma is a lifelong condition, you and your Kellogg ophthalmologist need to work together to agree on a treatment plan that works best for you and that offers you the best chance of preserving your vision.
Although anyone can develop glaucoma, some groups are at a higher risk for the disease:
- People over the age of 60
- African Americans over the age of 40
- People with diabetes
- People who have suffered a serious eye injury
- People with a family history of glaucoma
If you are at risk for glaucoma, please contact your Kellogg ophthalmologist at 734-763-5874 to schedule an appointment for a complete eye examination. It is important to remember that vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored and that damage to the optic nerve cannot be reversed. The only way to halt or slow the progression of the disease is through treatment; generally, the earlier the better.
The source of this news article release is http://www.kellogg.umich.edu