Glaucoma A Major Cause of Vision Loss Within the United States

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There are a variety of issues that can affect a person’s vision. While glaucoma is just one of these, it is a major cause of vision loss and can potentially lead to blindness. The Glaucoma Research Foundation estimates that more than three million Americans have this disease. Furthermore, it is estimated that only half of these individuals are aware they have this condition, which underlines the importance of receiving regular vision check-ups.

The World Health Organization reports that glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. In the United States, it is responsible for nine percent to 12% of all cases of blindness. Unfortunately, a cure for glaucoma has not been found yet, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. While this is currently an incurable disease, it can be treated with medication and/or surgery to hopefully prevent it from advancing. Since open-angle glaucoma is a chronic condition, once someone has been diagnosed, it’s important that they visit their ophthalmologist on a regular basis.

While there are different types of glaucoma, two are more prevalent. Open-angel glaucoma, as indicated by the Glaucoma Research Foundation, is the more common form. The second most common form is angle-closure glaucoma. This particular form of the disease doesn’t have any symptoms associated with it until someone realizes that they’ve experienced significant vision loss, which is one of the more obvious stages of glaucoma. Furthermore, these individuals don’t experience the pain that tends to accompany increased eye pressure and optic nerve damage.

Given that there are different stages of glaucoma, when someone has open-angle glaucoma, they may begin to lose their peripheral or side vision and compensate for this by turning their head to focus. While there are different stages of glaucoma, they are often not immediately noticeable. With angle-closure glaucoma, several symptoms may arise without warning and lead to increased and immediate damage. In addition to sudden sight loss, these symptoms will also tend to include hazy or blurred vision, the appearance of rainbow-colored circles around lights, severe head and eye pain, and nausea and vomiting, which is accompanied by severe eye pain.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation conducted a survey with 1,000 individuals. The results of this survey showed that 74% of their participants had an eye examination every two years or more often. While it does depend on whether or not someone has issues that necessitate their visiting an eye doctor more often, experts recommend having an eye examination once a year or once every two years.

In order to address vision issues, LASIK eye surgeries are performed both in the United States and abroad. In 2015 alone, for example, there were 21 million of these procedures performed through the world. During that same year, roughly 596,000 were performed within the United States. Projections indicate that by 2020, there will be approximately 718,000 LASIK surgeries performed to provide vision correction. When someone has glaucoma or another condition, such as cataracts, they can learn more about how this procedure may assist them.

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