January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month–perfect timing to add an eye exam to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness, affecting 2.2 million Americans age 40 and over. It usually progresses so slowly that damage is done before any sign of symptoms. While treatments are available, nothing can reverse vision loss that has already occurred. So, why should you rush out to get your eyes checked, especially if you’ve never had eye problems before? While you are at an increased risk for the disease if you have certain eye conditions, other factors contribute to your risk such as diabetes and hypertension. Also, the most common form of glaucoma is hereditary, and approximately 50% of Americans do not know they have the disease. Start the New Year off by learning your risks for the disease, and visiting your eye care professional to get tested. To learn more about glaucoma and other adult vision loss conditions, visit the Alliance’s Vision Loss section.

This post was written by Valerie Hagan, former Health Programs Coordinator at the Alliance.