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You've probably already made your New Year's resolutions for 2018, but if taking better care of your eyes is not on that list, now is a great time to start. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, which was created in order to spread more information about this devastating eyesight condition. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, where more than 3 million people alone already have it, especially among older individuals. However, there are many preventative measures one can take to support their eyesight, and keep their vision clear into the far future.
This vision condition is also known as a quiet sight-stealer. That is because glaucoma doesn't exhibit any early symptoms. In reality, an individual can lose as much as 40% of their vision before even realizing they have the condition. Once blindness occurs, it can never be reversed.
The development of glaucoma is an attack on the eye's optic nerve, which helps transmit visual information from the eye to the brain. A fluid called aqueous is continually produced by the eye, which is then drained from it in order to support healthy eye pressure. When fluid builds up too fast or is not drained properly, eye pressure is strained, damaging your vision, and paving the way for glaucoma to occur.
There are several types of this condition, though each one leads to eventual vision loss.
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma: The most common type of the condition, POAG is when the eye's drainage canals are impeded, which then causes fluid buildup to increase eye pressure. There are no early symptoms, and contraction of this type is generally genetic.
Angle Closure Glaucoma: A less common type of glaucoma, this is caused by the entrance to the drainage canals being either too narrow or blocked completely. Eye pressure happens quickly, and some symptoms can occur, which include sudden pain, nausea, headaches and blurry vision.
Normal Tension Glaucoma: This is otherwise known as low-pressure glaucoma, where the optic nerve is damaged even if eye pressure has not increased significantly. Risk factors for this condition's type include a family history of glaucoma, cardiovascular issues, as well as being more common among those with Japanese ancestry.
Secondary Glaucomas: This condition is usually developed alongside other vision complications, including eye trauma, cataracts, etc.
While the condition is mainly genetic, there are avenues to help treat the early stages of glaucoma. First and foremost, you must schedule a comprehensive eye exam annually with your optometrist. The eye exam consists of knowing your health and medication history, your vision history, as well as several vision tests, such as measuring your eye distance, your peripheral vision, your eye pressure, and the thickness of the cornea.
Certain lifestyle choices can also help you support your vision health efforts. For example, exercising can decrease your eye pressure, particularly with aerobic exercise. Cutting out the unhealthy habits that can damage your eyes is also recommended, including drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, and cigarette-smoking. Additionally, a vision support supplement such as Ocu-Max® can give your eyes the very nutrients you may be lacking.
Ocu-Max® contains an array of ingredients known for nourishing eye health. These include lutein and zeaxanthin, natural carotenoids that builds up the macula of the eye for stronger vision. Other ingredients include vitamin C, bilberry and ginkgo biloba, a formulation part of a conscious effort to support your vision. Make 2018 the year your eyes get the treatment and care that they deserve.