January is glaucoma awareness month!
We often refer to glaucoma as the “silent thief” because it can cause vision loss without any obvious symptoms to the patient. No pain, no redness, no blurry vision... In many cases, patients can lose a large portion of their peripheral vision before they notice its gone. And, once it’s gone, it’s gone.
There is a misconception that glaucoma is a disease of old age. Unfortunately, I have had multiple younger patients (in their 30s and 40s) present with vision loss secondary to glaucoma. In all cases, the patient didn’t know they had the condition and presented with complaints that a large portion of their peripheral vision was blurred or completely black.
On the flip side, if we catch glaucoma early, before it causes vision loss, we can often manage it well and prevent significant issues.
So, how do you know if you have (or are at risk for) glaucoma? You guessed it... get a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor!