January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

It’s that time of year again! January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and our team here at Pascale wants to properly inform you on what exactly this disease is and what you can do to help spread the word on how to prevent it. Since we work with closely with several ophthalmologists, this topic is something we care very deeply for and we ask that you take a moment to read about this severe condition.

According to the National Eye Institute, glaucoma is a group of diseases that damages the eye’s optic nerve. In the United States, there are an astounding three million people living with glaucoma. If left untreated, glaucoma worsens overtime and will continue to exacerbate until no vision is left. Glaucoma typically plagues African Americans over 40 and individuals with a family history of the disease, but everyone is at risk. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the world.

The cause of this disease has left doctors with a question mark. Most of the time, it is because of an increase or buildup of eye pressure, which can damage the optic nerves. Other times, it’s not so simple—studies have shown that it could possibly be linked to blood pressure and an unsatisfactory blood flow in the eye. There are also cases of glaucoma development in individuals with normal eye pressure, leaving researchers more puzzled. However, for the most part, the root of the cause is unknown.

Symptoms of glaucoma are a little tricky, as several people experience none until it is already too late. The symptoms occur gradually and there is typically no pain or immediate loss of vision. Most people only experience a gradual dissipation of their peripheral vision but, in rare cases, symptoms can include blurred vision, eye pain, halos around lights, reddening of the eye, and nausea or vomiting.

There is no cure for glaucoma—yet. With early detection, treatments that can delay progression of the disease consist of eye drops and pills to lower eye pressure, laser trabeculoplasty, and surgery. Unfortunately, once vision is lost from glaucoma, it is irreversible and lost forever.

Millions of people suffering from glaucoma are not even aware that they have it yet. Please help to raise awareness about glaucoma and the ways to prevent it from happening to you and your loved ones. Pascale wants  you to get annual eye exams, encourage others to do the same, and consider donating to the Glaucoma Research Foundation to show your support and to help find a cure for this disease!

 

Erin LaFavor