New York Ophthalmology Practice, Rockland Eye Physicians Focus on National Glaucoma Awareness Month
BARDONIA, N.Y., Dec. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Rockland Eye Physicians, a New York leading eye physician and eye surgical clinic, is joining forces with the Glaucoma Research Foundation this January to spread the word about Glaucoma Awareness Month. Affecting over 2.2 million Americans, glaucoma is a group of dangerous eye diseases capable of robbing sight with little or no warning. Though glaucoma cannot be prevented, the key to preserving sight is in the early detection and treatment of this symptomless disease. Rockland Eye doctors are urging patients to make a commitment to their eyesight in 2012 by scheduling a complete eye exam.
Research indicates that nearly half of those affected by glaucoma are unaware that they have the disease. As the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S., glaucoma can eliminate up to 40% of a person’s vision without notice. “Glaucoma is one of those diseases that most people have heard of, but few understand,” says Dr. Robert Chen, a board certified ophthalmologist at Rockland Eye Physicians. “What’s scary about the disease is its ability to develop silently over time. Typically, once a person has vision loss symptoms the damage is significant and cannot be reversed,” he explains. Left untreated, glaucoma can cause complete blindness.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eyes diseases characterized by progressive damage to the optic nerve. “In a healthy eye, proper fluid drainage behind the iris ensures manageable intraocular pressure (IOP). However, when the eye is not draining correctly fluid builds and applies pressure to the optic nerve, damaging its ability to relay visual data to the brain,” Dr. Chen explains.
The two primary types of glaucoma are open-angle (chronic) glaucoma and angle-closure (acute) glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form, developing slowly over time. While the vision damage caused by open-angle glaucoma cannot be undone, early detection and ongoing eye drop treatment can reduce eye pressure and prevent or delay further damage. Angle-closure glaucoma is a more sudden disease causing severe pain and requiring immediate treatment, possibly even surgery. Both forms of glaucoma are likely to have no leading symptoms, though vision cloudiness and the appearance of haloed lights are possible.
Though less common, glaucoma that presents at birth is referred to as congenital glaucoma, the result of abnormal eye development. Surgery is usually performed to correct problems of light sensitivity and cloudiness before permanent eye damage occurs. Secondary glaucoma is the result of eye problems caused by other disease or trauma in the body.
While the prevention of glaucoma remains a mystery, doctors know that certain risk factors can increase a person’s likelihood of developing the disease, particularly open-angle glaucoma. Glaucoma can develop at any age, though older populations are more susceptible. Those of African American, Asian and Hispanic decent are at increased risk of developing glaucoma, as are those with diabetes or severe nearsightedness. “One great indicator is heredity,” says Dr. Chen, “if a person has a family member with glaucoma their risk increases by as much as nine times. People with a family history of glaucoma must take advantage of annual eye exams.”
Rockland Eye Physicians and Surgeons uses state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to perform complete checks of vision and IOP. Their expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma helps high-risk patients stay ahead of vision impairment and manage the disease once it presents. Educating patients about the minimal symptoms of glaucoma is critical to success, particularly as the U.S. population ages.
With offices in Bardonia and Garnerville, Rockland Eye experts Dr. Robert Chen, Dr. Louis Aventuro, Dr. Jeffrey Leen, Dr. Stuart Rosenthal and Dr. Glen Weiss have dedicated forty years to compassionate and ethical eye care throughout Rockland County, Westchester County and Dutchess County New York (NY). They specialize in adult eye care and pediatric ophthalmology, as well as cosmetic eye procedures.
Rockland Eye Physicians & Surgeons, PC
365 Route 304
Bardonia, New York 10954
171 Ramapo Road
Garnerville, New York 10923
SOURCE Rockland Eye Physicians and Surgeons