January Is Glaucoma Awareness Month

About 3 million Americans have glaucoma and approximately half of those do not know it. Glaucoma is a blinding eye disease that has no symptoms in the early stages. If left untreated it causes irreversible blindness. As a result, glaucoma is known as “the silent thief of sight.”

There are different types of glaucoma but the most common form is a slow painless damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure within the eye. This high eye pressure slowly damages the nerve fibers that carry light signals from the retina to the brain. Early optic nerve damage has minimal symptoms but as damage continues side vision is lost first. Continued high eye pressure will eventually damage the optic nerve to the point where side vision loss turns into tunnel vision and eventually total blackness. Unfortunately, this type of blindness is not reversible.

At Coan Eye Care we believe in the importance of detecting glaucoma as early as possible. Therefore we include an eye pressure test in all annual eye exams. This simple painless test can detect early glaucoma before the patient has lost vision. If high pressure is found, the patient is scheduled at our office for other noninvasive tests to determine optic nerve function. Most of the time the doctors at Coan Eye Care can manage glaucoma with eye drop medication.

Make sure you and your family schedule a comprehensive annual eye exam at Coan Eye Care. Don’t lose your precious sense of sight to the silent thief of sight.

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