Glaucoma Awareness Month

If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to look after the health of your eyes. This week, in honor of Glaucoma Awareness Month, we’d like to alert you to some resources you can use to find out more about this common eye condition and to learn about ways to reduce your risk.

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Glaucoma is the name for a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve (the nerve that carries signals from the eye to the brain), potentially leading to vision loss or even blindness. In primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, fluid builds up in the eye, and the optic nerve is damaged by the resulting increase in pressure. Diabetes and high blood pressure are both associated with an increased risk of open-angle glaucoma.

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The glaucoma education Web site of the National Eye Health Education Program of the National Eye Institute includes basic information on glaucoma, a glaucoma quiz, a glossary, and frequently asked questions, among other resources. Information is available in both English and Spanish and can also be read aloud using the “ReadSpeaker” function for those who have difficulty viewing text on a computer screen.

The Web site of the Glaucoma Research Foundation includes information on the various tests used to diagnose glaucoma, a section on glaucoma facts and statistics, details on finding financial assistance for treatments, and information on diabetes and glaucoma. The text can be adjusted to varying sizes and text and background contrast levels can be changed to make reading easier for those with visual difficulties.

The glaucoma resources section of the Mayo Clinic Web site includes information on symptoms, risk factors, and treatments — both conventional and alternative — for glaucoma, as well as advice on how to prepare for an appointment with your ophthalmologist and steps you can take to prevent glaucoma. The text size can be increased to make reading easier.

This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.

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