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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that results in a gradual loss of eyesight. The most common forms primarily affect middle-aged and elderly people, but it can affect people of all ages. Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve which is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain.
More than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma, often referred to as ‘the sneak thief of sight’ since there are no symptoms. With this disease, once vision is lost, it is permanent. In addition, surprisingly, more than 40% of vision can be lost without a person even noticing. Experts estimate that half of people with glaucoma do not realize they have it.
Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma but medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The best way to protect your sight is to get a comprehensive eye exam. This way, if you do have glaucoma, treatment can begin immediately.
In honor of Glaucoma Awareness Month, you can help raise awareness by:
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