Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Early detection and treatment can help to prevent vision loss from glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the United States, particularly among older adults and African Americans, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In its early stages, glaucoma generally does not cause noticeable symptoms and half of those with glaucoma do not know they have it. Once vision is lost, it cannot be restored. To focus greater attention on the “sneak thief of sight,” efforts to increase awareness escalate during January, known as Glaucoma Awareness Month. The only way glaucoma can be detected is through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Through its National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), NEI provides an array of resources that can be shared, including videos and webinars, articles and fact sheets, infographics, and info cards that can be shared online. NEI also has the See What I See: Virtual Reality Eye Disease Experience app, which makes it possible to see firsthand how glaucoma and other eye conditions can impact vision. A guide to help people “Talk With Your Doctor About Glaucoma” is also available, with information about the condition, suggested questions, and a symptom tracker. A multitude of additional resources are available as well, from social media posts to presentation tips to a toolkit for use in educating groups. The Glaucoma Research Foundation also encourages raising awareness, providing recommendations about speaking with family and friends about glaucoma. A free educational “Understanding and Living with Glaucoma” booklet, “a comprehensive guide for patients who have been recently diagnosed with glaucoma, for their families, and their friends,” as well as other educational resources and information are available as well. To learn more and access additional resources, visit the NEI listing entitled January is Glaucoma Awareness Month and the Glaucoma Research Foundation webpage on Glaucoma Awareness Month.