If you are reading this newsletter with your eyes, then you might be interested in maintaining good eye health. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Vision is something that most people take for granted, until it starts to decline. Being mindful of eye health can help you maintain your vision for as long as possible.
Glaucoma describes a few diseases that affect the optic nerve. Damage to the optic nerve interferes with the ability of the eyeball to send visual messages to the brain.
The result of untreated Glaucoma is vision loss. The most common type of Glaucoma usually starts with loss of peripheral vision. It is not reversible, but there is treatment if caught early that can help preserve remaining vision.
Glaucoma affects three to four million Americans every year, with specific population groups at even higher risk (African-Americans, Latinos, and people with a family history of the disease, aged). Glaucoma Awareness Month aims to get these high risk groups to the doctor’s office
for testing. Ask your doctor’s office for a referral.
The most common type, Open-Angle Glaucoma, can be detected by having an eye test with dilation. It’s covered by insurance. There is a rare form called Angle-Closure Glaucoma, which does have symptoms including eye pain and sudden vision loss, visual disturbance and nausea. If you experience these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention right away.
Using your mindfulness techniques, pause to think about everything you do each day using your vision. From driving, to reading to dialing the phone, your eyes need your attention whether you think they are working fine, or if you suspect there might be a problem. Early detection is crucial because there are no early symptoms of Glaucoma. According to the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health, half the people who have Glaucoma don’t know they have it! Don’t let that be you.
FROM MEDICARE: Medicare Part B covers (80%) of a glaucoma test once every 12 months for people at high risk for glaucoma. The screening must be done or supervised by an eye doctor who’s legally allowed to do this test in your state. You’re at high risk if you have diabetes, a family history of glaucoma, are African American and 50 or older, or are Hispanic American and 65 or older.