Now that we have turned the corner into 2018, it’s a good time to focus on an eye check-up.

Eye doctor checking for glaucomaMany of us expect to experience vision loss later in life. Indeed, our risk of developing various eye conditions increases as we age.

Take glaucoma, for instance. It is a group of diseases causing a buildup of fluid – and pressure – in the eye, damaging the optic nerve and affecting a person’s peripheral, or side, vision. The extent of the harm done varies from person to person.

Did you know that close to three million people in the U.S. have glaucoma? It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Raising awareness is critical, as the aging U.S. population will lead to a growing number of people diagnosed with glaucoma.

Over half of people with glaucoma do not know they have it. That is not surprising, since it often does not have any symptoms in the early stages. A glaucoma test, which is commonly given during annual eye examinations, is critical to early detection.

An AmeriLife agent can discuss with your eye insurance options to fit your needs and budget.

By the numbers

In our country, the Glaucoma Research Foundation notes, about 120,000 people have lost their sight due to the disease, accounting for up to 12 percent of all instances of blindness.

Approximately 4 million people will have glaucoma by 2030, says the National Eye Institute; and six million will have it by 2050.

Fortunately, glaucoma is treatable. It cannot, however, be reversed or cured. Anyone can develop glaucoma, which makes it very important to have regular eye exams, especially if you fall into one of the higher risk categories:

  • People with a family history of glaucoma
  • African Americans age 40 and up
  • Individuals with diabetes
  • Everyone age 60 and up, particularly those of Hispanic/Latin origin

Types of glaucoma

The American Academy of Ophthalmology identifies two forms of glaucoma.

By far, the most common is primary open-angle, in which the eye does not drain fluid properly. There is no pain with this type of glaucoma, which the CDC says is hereditary; and in the beginning, no changes to the vision. The second type, angle-closure, occurs when the iris is near the drainage angle, which is the place where eye fluid drains.

Unlike primary open-angle glaucoma, the angle-closure type is caused by the iris blocking the drainage angle. This condition is acute – it comes on suddenly. Symptoms may include blurry vision, pain in the eye, a bad headache and nausea/vomiting.

Angle-closure glaucoma requires immediate medical attention, or blindness may result.

Eye health basics

If you have had a vision exam, you probably have gotten a puff of air in the eye. It’s a routine test to measure eye pressure and determine if it is within a defined (normal) pressure range.

However, the American Academy of Ophthalmology stresses that people should not rely on the eye pressure test alone to identify glaucoma. Getting a complete eye exam on a regular schedule can reveal any number of conditions or diseases.

The most widely used method to control glaucoma is daily eye drops to reduce pressure. There are also surgical treatments, both laser and traditional (operating room).

Seeing is believing

You, or someone you care about, could be losing their eyesight and not even know it.

Don’t put off a decision that could affect your vision health.

Connect with an agent today to discover AmeriLife’s eye insurance options.

Eye doctor checking for glaucomaNow that we have turned the corner into 2018, it’s a good time to focus on an eye check-up.

Many of us expect to experience vision loss later in life. Indeed, our risk of developing various eye conditions increases as we age.

Take glaucoma, for instance. It is a group of diseases causing a buildup of fluid – and pressure – in the eye, damaging the optic nerve and affecting a person’s peripheral, or side, vision. The extent of the harm done varies from person to person.

Did you know that close to three million people in the U.S. have glaucoma? It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Raising awareness is critical, as the aging U.S. population will lead to a growing number of people diagnosed with glaucoma.

Over half of people with glaucoma do not know they have it. That is not surprising, since it often does not have any symptoms in the early stages. A glaucoma test, which is commonly given during annual eye examinations, is critical to early detection.

An AmeriLife agent can discuss with your eye insurance options to fit your needs and budget.

By the numbers

In our country, the Glaucoma Research Foundation notes, about 120,000 people have lost their sight due to the disease, accounting for up to 12 percent of all instances of blindness.

Approximately 4 million people will have glaucoma by 2030, says the National Eye Institute; and six million will have it by 2050.

Fortunately, glaucoma is treatable. It cannot, however, be reversed or cured. Anyone can develop glaucoma, which makes it very important to have regular eye exams, especially if you fall into one of the higher risk categories:

  • People with a family history of glaucoma
  • African Americans age 40 and up
  • Individuals with diabetes
  • Everyone age 60 and up, particularly those of Hispanic/Latin origin

Types of glaucoma

The American Academy of Ophthalmology identifies two forms of glaucoma.

By far, the most common is primary open-angle, in which the eye does not drain fluid properly. There is no pain with this type of glaucoma, which the CDC says is hereditary; and in the beginning, no changes to the vision. The second type, angle-closure, occurs when the iris is near the drainage angle, which is the place where eye fluid drains.

Unlike primary open-angle glaucoma, the angle-closure type is caused by the iris blocking the drainage angle. This condition is acute – it comes on suddenly. Symptoms may include blurry vision, pain in the eye, a bad headache and nausea/vomiting.

Angle-closure glaucoma requires immediate medical attention, or blindness may result.

Eye health basics

If you have had a vision exam, you probably have gotten a puff of air in the eye. It’s a routine test to measure eye pressure and determine if it is within a defined (normal) pressure range.

However, the American Academy of Ophthalmology stresses that people should not rely on the eye pressure test alone to identify glaucoma. Getting a complete eye exam on a regular schedule can reveal any number of conditions or diseases.

The most widely used method to control glaucoma is daily eye drops to reduce pressure. There are also surgical treatments, both laser and traditional (operating room).

Seeing is believing

You, or someone you care about, could be losing their eyesight and not even know it.

Don’t put off a decision that could affect your vision health.

Connect with an agent today to discover AmeriLife’s eye insurance options.

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