Restion VA glaucoma treatmentDid you know that January is Glaucoma Awareness Month?  That’s right – and for good reason. Glaucoma is considered by many to be the “silent illness”, as it has no symptoms until it’s too late to stop.  Once glaucoma has taken hold, a person’s peripheral vision can disappear, with some people even losing their eyesight.

With no treatment available to reverse the vision lost to glaucoma, it’s no wonder more ophthalmologists are stressing the importance of knowing your risk for glaucoma.  If caught early enough, your ophthalmologist can slow the progression of the disease, thus helping you keep your eyesight for as long as possible.

Although glaucoma carries almost unnoticeable symptoms, you can stay vigilant against this ocular disease by understanding how it could potentially play a role in your own health.  So how can you tell if you’re at risk for developing glaucoma?

  • You’re of African or Hispanic descent. Studies have shown that these ethnic groups are five and 17 times more likely to develop glaucoma, respectively.
  • You’re over the age of 60. If you’re of European ancestry, your risk is relatively low; if you’re of African or Hispanic descent, you’re 15 times more likely to be blinded by glaucoma.
  • You have a history of glaucoma in your family.

When you meet with your ophthalmologist, you should be asked questions about your medical history, as well as your family background.  However, don’t be afraid to mention any concerns you might have about your risk for glaucoma.  Your ophthalmologist can work with you to determine your risk for glaucoma, as well as develop an action plan for keeping the illness at bay.

Image from Eyecare.org

Image from Eyecare.org

We’ve mentioned that the symptoms of glaucoma can be difficult to identify; however, it’s not impossible.  Here are the following symptoms you’re most likely to experience if you’re suffering from glaucoma:

  • Eye pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Loss of vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Halo around lights, especially at night
  • Red eyes

With regards to vomiting and nausea, it’s important to correlate this to eye pain.  If you feel this way after experiencing eye pain, then it’s important to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist right away.

If you’re interested in learning more about your risk of glaucoma, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia today. NewView Eye Center also serves patients in the greater Washington, DC area.

To schedule your next appointment just fill out the form in the top left corner or call 703-834-9777.