January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

According to the National Eye Institute, anyone older than 60 is at an increased risk for developing glaucoma. Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve and can result in vision loss or blindness.

At first, glaucoma has no symptoms, and there is no pain or discomfort. This is why it is important to have regular eye exams conducted to catch the disease early. As the disease progresses, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Vision loss
  • Redness in the eye
  • Eye that looks hazy (particularly in infants)
  • Eye pain
  • Narrowed vision (tunnel vision)

If left untreated, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision and may eventually lose their vision completely. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options for glaucoma including eye drops, laser surgery, or microsurgery that can slow the progress of the disease significantly. It is recommended that seniors take a complete eye exam every one to two years to monitor any changes that may occur with your eyes.

Shell Point residents have the convenience of meeting an ophthalmologist available at The Arbor Medical Center, along with a variety of other specialty physicians.