January 18, 2011
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month
January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, an important time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. It is estimated that over 4 million Americans have glaucoma.
"Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it," warned Dennis Norfleet, MD, Director of Public Health for Oswego County. "Early detection, through regular and complete eye exams, is the key to protecting a person's vision from damage caused by glaucoma."
Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve is due to increased pressure in the eye, also known as intraocular pressure. Checking the intraocular pressure alone is not enough to diagnose glaucoma because eye pressure changes.
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, there are four key facts to know about glaucoma:
For more information, contact the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3547.
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