Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible vision loss in the United States, which is why January has been designated Glaucoma Awareness Month. Raising awareness about glaucoma is particularly important as often people do not realize that they have developed this sight-stealing disease until it has begun to permanently and significantly impact the quality of their vision.
You can raise your awareness and protect your eyesight from glaucoma with these simple steps. Keep reading to learn how to protect your eyes from glaucoma during Glaucoma Awareness Month!
Know Your Risk
One important way to protect your eyes is to know your risk for developing glaucoma. While anyone can get glaucoma, certain groups of people are more likely to suffer from glaucoma than others.
For example, you may be at a higher risk from glaucoma if you are over the age of sixty, have a family history of glaucoma, or are diabetic. If you are at higher risk for glaucoma, your eye doctor at Shepherd Eye Center will be sure to monitor your eyes regularly for any signs of the eye condition.
Get Regular Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exams
One of the most disturbing facts about glaucoma is that it is often symptomless until it starts to affect your vision. How can you know you are developing glaucoma if there are no noticeable changes to your vision?
The best way to catch glaucoma early is to schedule regular comprehensive dilated eye exams. These are eye exams in which your eye care provider uses special eye drops which dilate your eye, allowing for a complete examination of the structures of your eye.
If you are in any of the high-risk categories, regular eye exams are especially important in protecting you from vision loss due to glaucoma. Even if you are not in a high-risk group, having a comprehensive dilated eye exam by age forty can ensure that you catch glaucoma or other eye conditions early.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating right and staying active as you age is not just good for your body and your mind! These healthy habits can also protect the health of your eyes.
You can lower your risk of vision loss from glaucoma by eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables. It’s also important to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and, if you smoke, quit as soon as possible.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent permanent vision loss. You can protect your eyes from glaucoma by being proactive:
- Familiarizing yourself with the risk factors for developing glaucoma
- Scheduling regular comprehensive dilated eye exams
- Maintaining the quality of your overall health
Use Your Eye Drops as Prescribed
If you have glaucoma, your eye doctor will likely prescribe medicated eye drops to help lower your eye pressure. These drops can significantly improve eye pressure levels; however, they must be taken regularly and on time as prescribed.
If your eye doctor prescribes you eye drops, be sure to take them as directed to avoid any further vision loss and to protect your eyes.
Do you have questions about the health of your eyesight this Glaucoma Awareness Month? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center at one of our 5 locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, today to schedule a consultation and eye exam with one of our experienced eye care providers!