According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, approximately 2.7 million Americans have glaucoma and more are being diagnosed every day. By 2030, the number may rise to as high as 4.2 million. And the condition is by no means exclusive to those in the United States. Worldwide, there are currently 60 million individuals afflicted with the condition.
“Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it,” reports the GRF. “Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma.”
Because of its ever-growing prevalence, January has been named Glaucoma Awareness Month. The goal of the initiative is to educate the population on the condition while also attempting to raise funds to find a cure.
According to the GRF, glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases that affect primarily the middle-aged and the elderly. It is, however, a condition that can affect people of all ages.
“Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve,” the GRF says. “This nerve acts like an electric cable with over a million wires. It is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain.”
And although there is no current cure for glaucoma, many affected with the disease have relied on medication or surgery to slow or prevent further vision loss. Early detection is imperative for such mediation to be fully effective, however, which is why we here at Freedom Home Care urge our clients to seek the professional advice of their doctor if they are experiencing any problems with their vision.