For people like Virginia Bell, glaucoma can be an easily managed eye disease that does not impede daily life. But without regular eye examinations, the “silent thief of sight” can lead to blindness when it’s not caught early.
The eye care community sets aside the first month of each year for National Glaucoma Awareness Month, 31 days dedicated to sharing information about a disease that damages the optic nerve by increasing internal pressure in the eye. There is no cure for glaucoma and the disease does not have any noticeable symptoms in the early stages, so regular eye exams are the only way a person can catch glaucoma early and manage it through treatment.
The lack of symptoms is one of the primary concerns of diagnosing glaucoma, according to Glasgow optometrist Ronald Wagner, of Wagner Eye Care Center on Columbia Avenue. A person may have progressing glaucoma and not even know it, Wagner said.
“You can’t necessarily depend on your vision telling you something’s wrong,” Wagner said.
Wagner sees patients with glaucoma probably every day, he said, but many people know very little about the disease.
For the full story, see the print or e-edition of Thursday's Glasgow Daily Times.