National Glaucoma Awareness Month
1/18/2013 (Updated 10:50:46 PM)It's a nerve disease with no signs or symptoms--but it can leave you blind.
January marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Dr. Andrew Sacco says it's usualy associated with elevated pressure in the eye.
"Usually the eye doesn't drain the fluid properly from within the eye. They eye has a closed system and the fluid builds up within the eye," says Dr. Andrew Sacco, Optometrist.
The disease is 6-8 times more likely in African Americans than caucasians and Sacco says having family history of glaucoma means you're at a higher risk of having the disease.
"Sibling with glaucoma is actually a larger risk factor than a parent with glaucoma," says Sacco.
There are rarely any symptoms- but when they occur it could be too late.
"Seeing halos around lights when night driving. Glare with night driving. That could mean the pressure in the eye is elevated, but waiting for those warning signs could be dangerous, so you should really see your eye doctor for a proper check up," says Sacco.
He says there are now many ways to test for the disease and more treatment options which range from eye drops to surgery.
"We've gone from in the past checking pressure to see if the pressure was high in treating-to looking at risk analysis which is family history, thickness of the wall of the eye, optic nerve evaluation, nerve thickness evaluation with scanning lasers we use a lot of technology to access the risk," says Sacco.
Glaucoma is not preventable, but treatable--and the earlier the better. Sacco recommends an annul eye exam after age 40 or earlier if there is a history of the disease in the family.
Ali Warner Fox 40 HD News.
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