January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, so let’s start the new year with your eye health in mind. Glaucoma is a leading cause of preventable but irreversible blindness in the United States. With no notable symptoms in its early stages, you might not recognize the signs until it’s too late.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease caused by an increase of pressure in the eye. This pressure can build up and destroy the sensitive nerve fibers that allow you to see clearly, causing permanent vision damage. Although vision lost due to glaucoma can’t be recovered, it can be prevented. We recommend adding an OCT test to your eye exam to watch for early signs of the disease.
During an OCT test, your doctor will use a scanning laser to view a color-coded map of your eye. The map shows the details of your optic nerve and nerve fiber layers, revealing any early signs of glaucoma. From this data, your doctor will be able to determine if further treatment is necessary. The no-touch scan takes about 5-10 minutes and is quickly becoming the industry standard for monitoring glaucoma.
Are you at risk?
If a close relative has had glaucoma, there is a higher chance that you may experience it as well. The risks also increase with age, so be sure to visit your eye doctor regularly, especially if you are over age 40. Here is a breakdown of how often you should get tested for signs of glaucoma, depending on your age:
- Before age 40, every two to four years
- Age 40 to 54, every one to three years
- Age 55 to 64, every one to two years
- After age 65, every six to 12 months
Need to schedule your eye exam, or have questions about preventing vision loss?
Call 216-574-8900 to speak with the experts at Corrective Eye Center today.