January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month
Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing. People at higher risk include people of Asian, African and Hispanic descent. Other high-risk groups include people over 60 years old, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely nearsighted.
There are two main types of glaucoma: primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), and angle-closure glaucoma. These are marked by an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye. When optic nerve damage has occurred despite a normal IOP, this is called normal tension glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma refers to any case in which another disease causes or contributes to increased eye pressure resulting in optic nerve damage and vision loss.
The best way to protect yourself is regular eye exams. Then, if you have glaucoma treatment can began immediately. You can discuss with your eye doctor how often you should have regular eye exams.
Regular eye exams may be covered by your health insurance plan. Medicare Part B covers screenings for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Medicare Part B covers cost of exam every 12 months for people at higher risk.
If you are 65 years old or turning 65 years old within the next 6 months and have questions about Medicare, please call Yok Sey at 619-806-3496 or John Parrott at 619-990-2665.