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January Wellness Spotlight

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month!January is Glaucoma Awareness Month – ZiekerEye Ophthalmology | Surgical Eye Care, Aesthetic Treatment Wilton, NY

Glaucoma is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness within the United States. Over three million Americans, as well as sixty million people worldwide have glaucoma. There are often no symptoms of Glaucoma before it is diagnosed. This Wellness Spotlight includes information on glaucoma risk factors, prevention tips, and glaucoma management.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can slowly take over eyesight without warning. The most common group to be affected by this condition is middle-aged and the elderly, although it can happen to anyone. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which acts as a carrier of images from the eye to the brain. Vision loss is caused by damage to the nerve in the back of the eye. A reason this happens is because of abnormally high pressure in the eye, and often affects vision. The vision loss usually starts on the edges of the visual field and then will impact the central vision. It can take years before the symptoms are noticed.

The only way to find our if you have glaucoma is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. In the United States, about 120,000 men and women are blind as a result of glaucoma. By 2023, it is estimated that this number will be 4.2 million and will primarily affect those over 60. Glaucoma is more prevalent in those who are diabetic, severely nearsighted, or siblings of those diagnosed with glaucoma.

According to Harvard Medical School, Glaucoma comes in three main forms:

  • Open-angle glaucoma- The trabecular meshwork gradually becomes blocked, causing the eye pressure to increase slowly over time (Most common form of the disease)
  • Angle-closure glaucoma- The trabecular meshwork is suddenly narrowed or blocked, resulting in a quick rise in eye pressure
  • Normal-tension glaucoma- The optic nerve sustains damage, despite having normal eye pressure readings

Glaucoma Treatment – Georgina Eye Clinic

Risk Factors

  • A family history of glaucoma
  • Age 60+
  • Increased eye pressure
  • Thin cornea
  • Eye injury
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Severe nearsightedness


Get regular eye examinations

Regular eye exams can help to detect glaucoma while still in its early stages. This is important to detect before serious damage can occur. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, recommendations for eye examinations include:

  • Every 5-10 years for those under 40 years old
  • Every 2-4 years for those 40-54 years old
  • Every 1-3 years for those 55-64 years old
  • Every 1-2 years for those 65 years old and up
  • More frequent screening if you are at risk for glaucoma

Wear eye protection

Serious eye injuries can lead to glaucoma, it is important to wear eye protection when doing activities such as sports or using power tools.

Know your family history

If someone in your family has glaucoma, you are at an increased risk and more frequent screening is recommended.

Manage and Treat Glaucoma

There are many different types of treatments for glaucoma. To learn more about the best option for you, visit your doctor. The first option for treatment of glaucoma is medicine. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to lower the pressure in the eye and prevent damage to the optic nerve. A second option is laser treatment, which can lower your eye pressure by draining the fluid out of your eye. Lastly, surgery is an option for those with glaucoma. There are several types of surgery that can help drain the fluid out of your eye. Although this is a serious disease, the treatments can work well and be beneficial.



Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma Information


Harvard Medical School – Facts about Glaucoma