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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma, The Silent Thief of Sight

Have you ever wondered what that air puff test is when you get your yearly eye examination? We promise it’s not for torture, it’s used to check the pressure of the eye to help detect glaucoma. Glaucoma can come with no warning and no noticeable symptoms. It is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month and we encourage all people, especially those at higher risk for this disease, to make sure they have been screened for glaucoma. A regular eye examination is especially critical since a person with early-stage glaucoma may not notice any symptoms at all.


normal vision - image curtsey of the national eye institute

Normal vision – image courtesy of the national eye institute.


Vision damaged from glaucoma. Image courtesy of the national eye institute.

While the early stage symptoms may not be noticeable, a person with more advanced glaucoma may notice blurred vision, the presence of halos around lights, loss of peripheral vision, and difficulty focusing on objects. Glaucoma a

ffects an estimated 4 million Americans. Some people are more at risk than others.

Those at higher risk include:

  • People over the age of 60
  • African-Americans over age 40
  • People with diabetes
  • Individuals that have experienced a serious eye injury
  • Anyone with a family history of glaucoma

While there is no cure for glaucoma, early detection and treatment can slow or prevent further vision loss. First and foremost in the process is a yearly comprehensive eye examination. Every comprehensive examination includes a glaucoma eye pressure test, and a screening visual field test to check your side vision which is affected by glaucoma. At our office we include complimentary retinal photos with your yearly eye exam to document the appearance of your optic nerve, which is monitored for changes that can indicate you may have glaucoma. Trust our Vision Source doctors, Dr. Beckwith, Dr. Lee and Dr. Nagel to treat and manage your glaucoma. With advanced diagnostic testing such as a GDX machine that measures the tissue in your optic nerve for minor changes, a in depth threshold visual field test to check for changes in your side or peripheral vision and a eye pressure check.  Glaucoma is commonly treated with eye drops although in some cases patients may be referred out for glaucoma laser surgery or a shunt surgery to additionally lower the eye pressure.  Learn more about glaucoma on the National Eye Institute’s glaucoma page.

Make sure you are not a victim of the silent thief of sight, glaucoma. If you have not had your annual eye exam please give us a call today at 702-254-3558 or request an appointment through our website.