National Glaucoma Awareness Month – January 2024

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States. Glaucoma has no early symptoms — that’s why half of people with glaucoma don’t know they have it. 

The only way to check for glaucoma is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. There’s no cure for glaucoma, but early treatment can often stop it from damaging people’s vision.   

Anyone can get glaucoma, but some people are at higher risk, including people who:

  • Are over age 60 
  • Are Black/African American and over age 40
  • Are Hispanic/Latino
  • Have a family history of glaucoma

Talk With Your Doctor About Glaucoma

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with glaucoma, you may have questions about what this means.

There’s no cure for glaucoma, but here’s the good news — it can be treated. And starting treatment early is the best way to stop the damage and protect your vision.

Talk to your eye doctor about your symptoms and treatment options. You can use this guide to get the conversation going.

Questions for your doctor

Visiting the doctor can be stressful, especially when you’re dealing with a new diagnosis. It helps to have questions written down ahead of time.

  • What type of glaucoma do I have?
  • How often do I need to get a checkup for my glaucoma?
  • What are mt treatment options?
  • What will happen if I don’t get treated for my glaucoma?
  • How will I know if my treatment is working?
  • What are the possible dangers or side effects from treatment?
  • Is there anything else I can do to help with my glaucoma and protect my vision?
  • Does glaucoma put me at risk for other eye diseases?
  • What can I expect for my vision – now and in the future?
  • Are here any activities I should avoid?

Glaucoma at a glance

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that:

  • Has no symptoms at first, but can cause vision loss and blindness later
  • Is diagnosed with a comprehensive dilated eye exam
  • Can’t be prevented or cured – but can be treated with medicines, laser treatment, or surgery

Glaucoma treatment

The most common treatment for glaucoma is prescription eye drops. These eye drops won’t cure glaucoma or reverse vision loss, but they can keep glaucoma from getting worse. Remember: Even if you
don’t have symptoms, it’s important to keep up with your treatment. Without treatment, glaucoma can eventually cause blindness.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States — especially for older adults and African Americans. Glaucoma doesn’t have any symptoms at first, but over time it can cause peripheral (side) vision loss and blindness.  

That’s why we need your help to get the word out about glaucoma. There’s no cure for glaucoma, but treatment can often stop the damage and prevent further vision loss. People who are at risk for glaucoma need to know what steps they can take to help protect their vision.