Our Panama City Beach and Chipley offices are now open! Please call 850-784-3937 for an appointment.

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Early Detection Critical to Treating Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a major cause of vision loss worldwide. It affects more than 3 million people in the United States—nearly half of whom are unaware they have the disease. During Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, The Eye Center of North Florida joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in reminding everyone that early detection and treatment can help protect your sight.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which transmits visual information from the retina to the brain. Typically, the disease initially has no signs or symptoms. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause irreversible blindness.

We recommend that everyone have a comprehensive eye exam at age 40. This exam provides us an opportunity to carefully examine your eyes, including the optic nerve, for signs of damage and other possible problems that may affect vision.

Individuals at greater risk for developing glaucoma include people:

  • over age 40

  • of African, Asian or Hispanic heritage

  • who have high eye pressure detected during an eye exam

  • who are farsighted or nearsighted;

  • who have experienced eye trauma or eye injury

  • whose corneas are thin in the center

  • who have health problems such as diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure or poor blood circulation

Appropriate treatment for glaucoma depends on the specific type and severity of the disease. Medicated eye drops or laser treatments are the most common initial approach. These techniques work by lowering eye pressure to reduce the amount of fluid in the eye, and by increasing fluid outflow from the eye.

For more information on glaucoma or other eye conditions and diseases, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

If you haven’t had a recent eye exam, please call our office at 784-3937 to schedule with one of our physicians.