January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. It is estimated that over 60 million people suffer with glaucoma worldwide. While everyone is at risk, some groups are more susceptible than others. The older population, or those age 60+, are six times more likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma. Other groups that are predisposed to glaucoma are those with a family history of the condition, diabetics, people who are nearsighted, and African Americans.
There are two main types of glaucoma: open angle and closed angle. Open angle is a chronic condition that progress slowly over long period of time without the person noticing vision loss until the disease is very advanced. Closed angle can appear suddenly, is painful, and visual loss can progress quickly.
With early treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss. It is recommended that those groups who are at high risk for glaucoma should get a complete eye exam every one to two years.