Did you know that as much as 40% of your vision can be lost due to glaucoma – without your notice?
That’s why they call glaucoma the “sneak thief of sight.” There are no symptoms, and once your vision is lost, it’s permanent. This is one of the urgent messages of National Glaucoma Awareness Month, which takes place every January. (And for good reason – according to a National Eye Institute survey, only 8% of Americans are aware of the fact that glaucoma has no early symptoms.)
Over four million Americans have glaucoma, and given its stealth progression, approximately half of them don’t know it. The leading cause of preventable blindness, glaucoma is more prevalent in African American and Latino populations. For example, it is six to eight times more prevalent in African Americans than Caucasians. People who are severely nearsighted, have diabetes or who have family members with glaucoma are also at higher risk.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are treatments (including medication and surgery) that can help slow or prevent vision loss. That’s why it’s so important to have regular eye exams, especially if you are over 60. The disease can strike at younger ages, though, as the data from our glaucoma community at PatientsLikeMe shows. Of the 107 members reporting the disease, approximately 60% are between the ages of 40 and 59.
Haven’t been to the eye doctor in a while? Make an appointment today for your peace of mind.