January 2011: Glaucoma Awareness Month

A silent disease is taking away the sight of millions of Americans. It’s called glaucoma and it can slowly reduce eyesight and may cause blindness.

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the optic nerve. The most common form is primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). An estimated 2.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with POAG and an additional 2 million have glaucoma and don’t know it.

There are often no symptoms or pain associated with the onset of glaucoma. As it progresses, a person may notice his or her side vision decreasing. As the glaucoma worsens, the field of vision narrows and blindness may result.