It's almost the end of January, and what a year it's been already!
To end the month, we would like to talk about glaucoma, since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. In summary, glaucoma is an eye condition that leads to permanent vision loss. It is caused by extra pressure inside of the eye, or intraocular pressure, which causes nerve damage. It occurs mostly in those over the age of 60, but anyone can be diagnosed with it.
According to the National Glaucoma Foundation, there are approximately 3 million Americans that have glaucoma. And according to the National Eye Institute, that number may increase to 4.2 million. Unfortunately, once sight loss with glaucoma occurs, it is irreversible and up to 40% of eye sight can be lost. It is currently the leading cause of irreversible blindness.
Image taken from Mayo Clinic.
This is an image of open-angle glaucoma, which is one form of it. Open-angle glaucoma results in loss of peripheral vision and tunnel vision (only being able to use central vision) in more advanced stages. You can see that there is an increase in pressure within the eye, which results in optic nerve damage.
How to Help
Make sure that you educate yourself on this topic and educate others, which is what you're doing by reading this article!
Doing research on glaucoma and learning more about it is important.
Approximately half of those who have glaucoma don't even know that they have it because it happens so gradually. It isn't noticeable until there is a loss in peripheral vision (side vision). So, one thing you definitely need to do is have regular eye exams and speak with an eye doctor if you suspect any symptoms.The sooner you know about it, the sooner you can get help for it.
Regular check-ups with an optomotrist are important. If you think anything is wrong, be sure to get that checked up!
Something else you can do is support communities, foundations, and organizations that help to spread awareness about glaucoma and provide resources. Your support can help make these resources accessible to everyone so that more people can get the care they need for glaucoma. The Glaucoma Research Foundation that has been mentioned is one way to support!
How to Live With Glaucoma
While there are treatments to slow down the vision loss associated with glaucoma, there is currently no "cure" for it. But don't worry, there is still so much that you can do!
There are some things that can help to reduce the intraocular pressure. For instance, you can take medicine that is prescribed by your doctor, eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, sleep with your head slightly elevated (around a 20 degree angle), and exercise. These will not cure or prevent glaucoma, but they can help a little with the symptoms.
A healthy, balanced diet is always important, but it's especially important with glaucoma. Be sure to eat foods rich in vitamins such as Vitamin A.
And you can use a low vision aid to help with your vision! Vision Buddy is one low vision aid that can help you keep doing the things you love. Our wearable headset helps those with eye conditions like glaucoma with magnification, reading, and watching TV. This means that you can see the faces of your loved ones, read your newspaper, and watch your favorite shows. You can do so much with VisionBuddy!
Vision Buddy makes living with glaucoma easier!
Want to know more?
Read about a real Vision Buddy user with glaucoma and learn more about this eye condition! You can read our article about Saleem who has glaucoma here.
This is a picture of Saleem using Vision Buddy to read!
And as always, you can reach us at 1-833-787-2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!