January is National Glaucoma Awareness month, a time that reminds us all of the importance of regular eye exams and shows support for those living with this illness. We’ve all heard of glaucoma, but not many of us can actually describe what this condition entails or how prevalent it really is. In fact, Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss, but it isn’t actually a singular disease. Instead, glaucoma refers to a group of diseases that damages the eye’s optic nerve and leads to irreversible vision loss.
Some consider glaucoma to be a troubling disease because there are no early warning signs or symptoms, and there is no cure, meaning there is no way to restore vision once lost. The only hope for glaucoma treatment is early detection to slow damage and protect the optic nerve.
Although generally associated with the older population, glaucoma can affect anyone of any age. Currently, over 3 million people in the US have glaucoma, and that number is steadily rising. The National Eye Institute projects that by the year 2030, that number will reach 4.2 million, a 58% increase in 10 years. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, early diagnosis and treatment are key to controlling the disease and slowing the progression of vision loss.
Help Mission Search spread awareness of glaucoma by observing National Glaucoma Awareness Month this January. Get an eye exam, and encourage your family and friends to do so as well. If you are feeling generous, donate to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, a national non-profit organization that funds innovative research to find better treatments and a cure for glaucoma. Click here to donate today.