A Note from Tarra Janzing, RN

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Typically, people with the most common forms of glaucoma don’t experience any symptoms until the later stages of the disease, when severe damage to the optic nerve has already occurred, causing blind spots and vision loss.

Some patients may experience pain and redness in the eyes and severe headaches. Others may experience severe eye pain, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision, halos or colored rings around lights, and eye redness. There is no cure, but dilated eye exams can catch glaucoma early, and treatments like medicated eye drops and laser eye surgery can help prevent or slow vision loss.

Individuals over the age of 60 are at a higher risk for glaucoma, those with a family history of glaucoma, chronic high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Everyone 40 years or older should have a comprehensive eye examination everyone and a half to two years. If you have an additional risk factor listed above, get tested annually. Anyone with high risk factors should be tested every year or two after 35

Glaucoma can’t be cured. If its left untreated, vision that has already been lost cannot be restored. But further sight loss can be prevented via medication or surgery. Each glaucoma patient requires lifelong management for best results.