January Recognized as Glaucoma Awareness Month
Leslie Patch, MD, FACS, Ophthalmology, Holzer Health System
January is recognized as National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is often referred to as the “sneaky thief of sight” because there are no symptoms associated with the disease. Unfortunately, there is not a current cure for the disease and if an individual loses sight due to glaucoma, it is a permanent loss.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 3 million Americans have glaucoma, causing it to be the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. If caught early, measures can be taken to keep your vision in the best health possible.
Glaucoma usually affects an individual’s peripheral vision, which is the vision of objects from the side of your head when looking forward, and later affects central vision, which is essential for everyday tasks such as driving and reading. Those who are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with glaucoma include people age 60 and older, those with a family history of glaucoma and individuals with diabetes.
“Routine eye exams are the best way to monitor for glaucoma,” Leslie Patch, MD, FACS, Ophthalmology, Holzer Health System, shared. “Patients with open angle glaucoma often do not become symptomatic until the disease has reached a severe stage, so making an eye exam part of your health maintenance routine gives you the best chance of preserving your sight.”
One of the best ways to preserve your sight is to schedule regular, comprehensive eye appointments. These eye appointments can ensure that your vision is healthy and evaluate your risk of being diagnosed with glaucoma. Glaucoma can be treated with eyedrops, oral medication, surgery, or a combination of treatments.
“Eye exams are gentle and non-invasive,” Dr. Patch said. “A basic eye exam involves vision testing, eye pressure measurement, and eye drops to examine the health of the eye.”
Holzer Ophthalmology Department offers a wide variety of eye care services at our locations in Athens, Gallipolis and Jackson, Ohio. Conditions treated include cataracts, glaucoma, injury care, and more. Ophthalmology services include medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the eye by our dedicated providers I. Naci Bozkir, MD, Julie Lew, MD, and Leslie Patch, MD, FACS. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.holzer.org or call 1-855-4-HOLZER.