What you need to know about a debilitating eye condition – glaucoma

Health

(CNN)– In your health – millions of Americans have glaucoma. Half of those people do not even know they have it.

Glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight.” And during National Glaucoma Awareness month, it’s the perfect time to learn more about the disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately three million people have it, and it’s the second leading cause of blindness.

There are no symptoms, and you can lose up to 40-percent of your vision before even realizing it.

And the vision loss is permanent.

The CDC warns that those with a higher risk of getting glaucoma have a family history of the disease, are over 60-years-old or are African American and over 40, or have diabetes.

Whatever the risk, make sure you’re taking steps to protect your eye sight.

Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam by the age of 40.

Talk to your family to see if there is history of vision loss.

And make sure to maintain a healthy weight and control your blood pressure.

If glaucoma is caught early, you can prevent further sight impairment with the help of eye drops, oral medication, or surgery.

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