Why Is Glaucoma Awareness Important?

  • By Germaine Shock
  • 26 Jan, 2017
If you’ve been following along on the journey to a better understanding of glaucoma, you’re in luck because the Eye-Q blog has one last informative post for you. This week we will be wrapping up Glaucoma Awareness Month with a brief re-cap of the highlights from the last two posts, some surprising statistics, and ways you can help spread awareness. Hopefully, over time, this awareness can help lessen the number of people who will needlessly lose their sight from glaucoma. If you haven’t yet checked out our other two posts about this disease, click here and here ! If you prefer the CliffsNotes version, here are just a few key glaucoma facts we covered:

The Facts

  • Blindness currently ranks third as people’s biggest health fear.
  • Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness not just in the US, but in the world.
  • The two main forms of glaucoma are open-angle and angle-closure.
  • There are also several other forms of glaucoma which include normal-tension, secondary, and congenital.
  • Glaucoma typically exhibits no symptoms or warning signs until vision is lost.
  • Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, however, some of the stronger risk factors include - being age 40 or older, a family history of glaucoma, systemic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, thin corneas, recent eye surgery or injury, and having a very high glasses prescription.
  • Yearly eye health exams are an important part of early detection and the prevention of sight loss.
  • Several tests are used to diagnose glaucoma including: visual field tests, tonometry, pachymetry, gonioscopy, and optic nerve imaging.
  • There is currently no cure for glaucoma, however, the disease can usually be controlled before it progresses to the point of vision loss as long as it is detected and treated early.
  • Some treatments for glaucoma can include eye drops, oral medications, laser surgery, and conventional surgery.

The Numbers

Think glaucoma isn't that big of an issue? Think again. Check out these surprising statistics.

  • According to the  Glaucoma Research Foundation , an estimated 4 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those individuals are aware of their condition.
  • In the U.S. alone glaucoma accounts for nearly 12% of all cases of blindness - around 120,000.
  • Worldwide, the number of suspected cases of glaucoma is a staggering 70 million.
  • Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans and is 6 to 8 times more common than in Caucasians.

Why Awareness Is Important

Early detection of glaucoma is absolutely essential in preventing blindness and vision loss. This is done through yearly eye health examinations. Since glaucoma typically exhibits no warning signs or symptoms until it is too late, spreading awareness of the disease plays an important role in preventative methods against sight loss. After all, if a disease has no signs or symptoms and is something you've never even heard of before - how would you know if you have it or not?

A survey done for the  Glaucoma Research Foundation  found that of the 1,000 people interviewed over 25% were completely unfamiliar with glaucoma.

Another survey from Prevent Blindness America found:

  • 30% had never even heard of glaucoma.
  • 50% had heard of the disease, but didn’t know what it was.
  • 20% thought glaucoma had symptoms, was easily cured, and did not lead to blindness.

What You Can Do

Glaucoma is a rising epidemic and a leading cause of blindness around the world. But it doesn’t have to be. The more people are aware of the disease and its risk factors, hopefully the more people will be able to take pro-active methods to stop the disease in its tracks. Here are a few ways you can help spread awareness not only during Glaucoma Awareness Month, but at any time.

  • Have a yearly eye exam and encourage those around you to do the same.
  • Support businesses like the  Glaucoma Research Foundation , which is a national non-profit organization that funds innovative research to help find a cure for glaucoma. You can do this by  donating  or simply sharing their website.
  • Also visit the  Bright Focus Foundation  - another great non-profit that provides education and research.
  • Educate friends and family about glaucoma. You can even have a free educational booklet sent to them  here .
  • Get involved in your community through fundraisers and group discussions - have your local eye doctor or other glaucoma expert be a guest speaker.
  • Share these posts on social media.


Don't be blind sided by glaucoma.... call our office at 405-341-2062 to set up your comprehensive eye examination and glaucoma screening.

Eye-Q

By Germaine Shock 01 Aug, 2017
By now most all of you have likely seen or are at least familiar with a solar eclipse. Without getting into too much of the scientific details, a solar eclipse happens when the moon moves between the sun and earth during its orbit causing a partial or complete blockage of our view of the sun. Although a solar eclipse only lasts for a few minutes, its thrilling impact will stay with you for much longer.
By Germaine Shock 20 Jul, 2017
School's out for summer! With a little extra free time and flexibility in your schedule, now is the perfect time to  bring your kiddos in for their eye health exams. Most parents will logically assume that since their child hasn’t had any complaints, they must not be having any problems - or that their child is simply too young to need an eye exam. Think again! 
By Germaine Shock 06 Jul, 2017
Sometimes when it comes to kiddos, you’ll find yourself navigating through some gray areas. For example, determining how much screen time is too much - or how old they should be to watch that scary movie. These definitive numbers are so hard to pinpoint simply because no two children are the same. They all mature at different rates, and we as parents have to adjust accordingly. Fortunately, here are a few tips to help in one of those gray areas -  figuring out if your child is ready for contact lenses.
By Germaine Shock 23 Jun, 2017
We have all made a questionable decision or two at least once in our lives. However, when it comes to your eyes and vision, this is one area where it is always better to be safe than sorry. Here are a few of the most common mistakes made by contact lens wearers and a safer alternative to keep those peepers healthy.
By Germaine Shock 14 Jun, 2017

More than likely if you are reading this, you’ve experienced the strange sensation of an eyelid twitch. It can happen anywhere, at any time, and almost always stops the moment you try to point it out to someone else (and of course resumes the second they turn away just to make you look extra crazy). Well you aren’t crazy - at least in this case - eyelid twitches are a real thing!

Myo-what?

Better known in professional lingo as “myokymia”, this twitching sensation is the result of involuntary, spontaneous, rippling muscle contractions. These spasms can actually occur in almost any of the muscles in your body. When relating to the eyelids, myokymia is most common in your lower lids but can happen in your top lids as well.

Eyelid myokymia is typically very temporary. The twitching will usually only last for a few minutes, but in some rare cases can last for a few days or even weeks.

Your doctor will likely advise you that there is no cause for concern as common Myokymia resolves on its own without the need for treatment. Other than causing mild annoyance, the eyelid twitching shouldn’t cause any long term complications or interference with your vision.
By Germaine Shock 01 Jun, 2017

Do your eyes ever feel dry and itchy? Do you ever experience eye fatigue, redness, blurred vision, or excessive watering? You could be suffering from dry eyes - especially if you live in Oklahoma City which ranks as the 17th driest city in the U.S. And despite the name, dry eye isn’t just an annoying feeling - it’s a legitimate chronic eye disease that affects an estimated 4.88 million Americans over the age of 50 alone. And since another estimated 89% of the population have never even heard of Dry Eye Syndrome, it’s easy to see why some would just write off those annoying symptoms as a normal part of their lives.

By Germaine Shock 16 May, 2017

In honor of Mother’s Day kicking off Women’s Week, the Eye- Q blog has decided to dedicate a post solely to women’s eye health related issues. So what makes women’s eye health so special? Women are actually more commonly affected than men by a number of ocular health issues including dryness, cataracts, age related macular degeneration, and complications from autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren's or lupus. Furthermore, according to Prevent Blindness America, 66% of people who are blind or visually impaired are women.

Let’s start with that statistic - why are women more at risk for eye complications than men?
By Germaine Shock 05 May, 2017
May is healthy vision month - and as we draw nearer to the official first day of Summer, what better time to discuss one of the most commonly overlooked parts of eye health - UV protection. Most of you are probably fully aware of the negative effects UV rays can have on your skin, but did you know the sun can be just as damaging to your eyes?
By Germaine Shock 25 Apr, 2017

No, it’s not a typo. Sjogren’s - pronounced show-grins - is a type of autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to various parts of the body; most commonly the tear and saliva glands. This damage results in symptoms ranging from dryness and discomfort to difficulty swallowing and can even affect the lungs and kidneys.

So why exactly does this happen? Let’s start with a quick health lesson. The immune system is responsible for fighting disease and killing harmful viruses and bacteria. However, with autoimmune diseases, your immune system has a hard time knowing when to stop fighting and mistakenly attacks your own body. With Sjogren’s, your exocrine glands - the glands that secrete moisture such as saliva, sweat, tears, breast-milk, gastric mucous, etc - become the main targets.
By Germaine Shock 05 Apr, 2017

So it’s the weekend and the mild discomfort you were experiencing midweek has now escalated into full blown intense pain. Or maybe you were working on the yard and something flew into your eye? Or perhaps you were wearing your contact lenses for too long and your eye is now extremely red and unhappy. Who do you call? (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not Ghostbusters.) But seriously, should you go to the ER if you injure your eye in some way? The answer might surprise you.

More Posts
Share by: