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Glaucoma Unveiled: Understanding, Prevention, and Hope

As we step into Glaucoma Awareness Month, we shine a light on a condition that, despite its impact on millions worldwide, is not always known. Often referred to as the "silent thief of sight," glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve connecting the eye to the brain. In the state of Ohio, glaucoma is recognized as a qualifying medical condition under the OMMCP.

Typically, when people mention "glaucoma," they are referring to open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common in the United States. This type of glaucoma occurs when the drainage channels in the eye gradually become clogged over time, resulting in increased pressure within the eye and potential harm to the optic nerve (2)

Regular eye exams are crucial when it comes to catching this “silent thief”, allowing opthamologists to detect glaucoma in its early stages before damage may occur. Your eye doctor may complete the following tests to detect glaucoma (3):

  • Tonometry – testing for inner eye pressure levels
  • Ophthalmoscopy – dilated eye exam testing for the shape and color of the optic nerve
  • Perimetry – examining the eye’s field of vision
  • Gonioscopy – looking at the angle in the eye where the iris meets the cornea
  • Pachymetry – examining the thickness of the cornea

The gradual nature of glaucoma, spanning over many years, makes it challenging for those affected to detect early symptoms as they may not notice anything different than usual. However, in some cases, individuals may notice subtle changes like a gradual loss of peripheral vision or experience symptoms like blurred vision and rainbow-colored circles around lights (2)

Encouragingly, strides are being made in the fight against glaucoma. Treatment options, including medications to reduce eye pressure, surgical interventions, and the use of medical marijuana, are available and improving. Clinical studies have shown hopeful results, indicating that medical marijuana usage can reduce intraocular pressure, along with conventional treatments (1).

Throughout this month, we advocate for routine eye examinations and support those impacted by glaucoma. Take a proactive step towards clearer sight – schedule your eye exam today and invest in a brighter, sharper tomorrow. Your eyes deserve the care, so don't wait; book your appointment now!