Yes, Glaucoma Awareness Month is Important and Here’s Why

Posted by: Eye Health Northwest in Glaucoma on January 12, 2021

Are you starting to notice that it is hard to see using your peripheral vision in both eyes? Are you aware of having glaucoma in your family medical history?

This is only one of the signs and risk factors tied to glaucoma. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month.

The goal of this month is to bring awareness to the signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with glaucoma. Keep reading to learn more about why Glaucoma Awareness Month is important!

Why is Glaucoma Dangerous?

Glaucoma is harmful because it damages your optic nerve. You need to have a healthy optic nerve to be able to see clearly.

The reason glaucoma damages your optic nerve is because it causes the pressure in your eye to increase. For adults 60 and older, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. But while it is possible for anyone to be diagnosed with glaucoma, it is more common in older adults.

Glaucoma has the nickname of being the secret thief of sight because most kinds of glaucoma don’t have any warning signs or symptoms. For many people, they’ve already experienced vision loss from this condition by the time they receive a diagnosis.

Unfortunately, damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible. That means if you lose any vision from glaucoma, you can’t get it back.

This is why annual eye exams are so important. This is the only time your ophthalmologist can look at your eyes.

One of the things they will measure is your eye pressure. They will continue to monitor it so they can figure out what is a healthy range for your eyes.

This way, if something changes, they will notice it before it is a problem. The key to preventing or slowing down vision loss is receiving an early diagnosis and treatment.

Once adults reach the age of 65, they need to have annual eye exams. Even with healthy eyes and good vision, this is still something you need to do.

Risk Factors

There are many factors that play into people developing glaucoma. Some of the risk factors include being 60 or older or having very high interior eye pressure.

Another risk factor of glaucoma is it can be genetic and hereditary. Other risk factors include:

  • If you have glaucoma in your family history, you have a higher chance of developing it
  • If you are Hispanic, Asian, or African American
  • If you are extremely nearsighted or farsighted-If you have high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, heart disease, or diabetes
  • If the central part of your corneas are too thin
  • If you have used corticosteroid medication for long periods of time
  • If you have had eye injuries or had specific types of eye surgery

It’s important to disclose these risk factors to your eye doctor whenever you go in for an eye exam.

Symptoms

The symptoms of glaucoma differ depending on what kind of glaucoma you have, as well as what stage you may be in. Common kinds of glaucoma include:

Acute Angle-closure Glaucoma

Acute angle-closure glaucoma creates intense headaches, eye pain, nausea, and vomiting. You may also experience cloudy vision, eye redness, and halos around lights.

Open-angle Glaucoma

Another kind of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common kind. This kind of glaucoma can occur in both eyes. It causes tunnel vision and blind spots in your peripheral or central vision.

If you start developing these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

The best way to keep your eyes healthy and diagnose glaucoma early on is by getting frequent eye exams, especially since glaucoma can sneak up on you. If you have any of the risk factors, your eye doctor may recommend more frequent eye exams.

Do you think that you might have glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR now!


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Barnes Road
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northeast Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., #245
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Westside Surgery Center
13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more
EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center
12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more

Our Locations

Barnes Road
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northeast Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., #245
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Surgery Centers

Westside Surgery Center

13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more

EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center

12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more