Unexpected vision loss is more common than you think. Blindness often occurs without early warning signs and people do not realize they are in danger.
The two most common causes of unexpected vision loss are diabetes and glaucoma. These diseases are called “vision stealers” because they may not cause symptoms in the early stages. When a person realizes that something is wrong, irreversible vision loss often occurs.
In fact, diabetes is one of the main explanations for blindness in adults. Fifty-five Americans a day are blinded by the disease. That number will increase dramatically as diabetes becomes more common due to poor eating habits, infrequent exercise, and an ageing population. One in three children born to us five years ago is expected to become diabetic in their lifetime.
What causes Glaucoma sudden blindness?
About 70 percent of people with diabetes lose partial or complete vision. But 30 percent of all people with diabetes don’t know they need it. Even people who know they need diabetes underestimate the risks involved.
According to a survey of diabetics sponsored by Lions Clubs International, 60 percent were not worried about going blind or losing an organ. In fact, 74 percent of diabetics suffer from serious complications that lead to vision loss or kidney or organ failure.
Glaucoma, on the other hand, can be a group of eye diseases that slowly damage the nerves that connect attention to the brain. For many, this damage occurs when pressure increases in the eye. When these nerves are damaged, vision loss can occur.
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Glaucoma is the second main explanation for blindness in us. But just like diabetes, not enough people realize it: An estimated 4.2 million Americans have glaucoma, but half don’t know it.
Diabetes and glaucoma are especially common among blacks and Hispanics. These groups are believed to have a genetic predisposition to disease and are more dangerous than Caucasians. Others, especially those with glaucoma, are people over the age of 60 who have a history of glaucoma or diabetes.
The good news for those at risk is that a poor eye exam can diagnose 2 diseases and early treatment can prevent vision loss. Ophthalmologists urge people at risk to have regular eye exams.
Raising awareness about diabetes and glaucoma is critical to preventing unwanted blindness. Lions Clubs International, in partnership with Lions clubs, community groups and individuals, is raising awareness of the need for early detection and prompt treatment of 2 diseases. The Lion Eye Health Program provides materials for distribution at health shows, antique centers, and similar gatherings. It also provides strategies for raising awareness of attention diseases.