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Increase Your Awareness of Glaucoma this Month

As January marks National Glaucoma Awareness Month, this post is intended to stress the importance of early detection of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of progressive ocular disorders that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which can be a precursor to loss of central vision and eventual blindness. When not treated, the disease often initially results in vision loss in the periphery of the visual field until it eventually results in total blindness. It is thought to be the primary reason for preventable loss of vision and statistics show that over sixty million individuals around the world are afflicted with the vision threatening condition.

One of the leading sources of glaucoma is thought to be elevated pressure around the optic nerve known as intraocular pressure. The increase in pressure around the eye causes damage to the optic nerve which is responsible for delivering messages from the eye to the brain. In instances where this pathway doesn't work as needed, vision is impaired. Regrettably, damage to the optic nerve is typically irreversible.

Glaucoma is especially threatening because unlike other causes of vision impairment, it is an asymptomatic condition until irreparable damage is done. It is for this reason that glaucoma has acquired the nickname the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you wondering: how does one safeguard against a condition which has no obvious symptoms?

Prompt diagnosis of the disease is the key to effective care. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, particular populations are more at risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma may include anyone over 45 years old, individuals having a family history of glaucoma, individuals with diabetes, or known eye conditions such as high intraocular pressure.

An effective way to detect glaucoma is to contact an eye doctor. There are several diagnostic eye examinations employed to assess damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Particularly if you are 45 or older or have one of the other risk factors named above, you should schedule a routine eye examination at least once a year.

It is unfortunate that for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. That being said, the damage to the optic nerve and deterioration of vision may be halted by early diagnosis and proper treatment. Don't delay! Contact Foresight Eyecare now, for a yearly screening for glaucoma.

Thank you for trusting your eyecare with us over the years.  The Foresight Eyecare team follows the government mandate to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  After December 2020 announcements made by the Alberta Government, our clinic is following the revised Infection Prevention and Control policy by the Alberta College of Optometrists.

Patients interested in obtaining eye exam services or eye care products can be seen by appointment only.  Please call ahead, and staff will arrange an appointment time and ask COVID-19 screening questions.  If you have any symptoms of cough, fever, runny nose or shortness of breath, we ask that you call or e-mail us and do not attend the clinic for your scheduled visit.   Within the clinic, please wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer at reception.  Our clinic complies with the City of Calgary bylaw requiring mask covering over the age of two years old.  For patients who are unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, the patient can be scheduled for an appointment at a time when minimal number of other patients are in the clinic such as at the beginning or end of the day to ensure appropriate physical distancing requirements.

We are using disposable disinfectant wipes on all surfaces and devices such as front desk counters, chairs, handles in exam rooms and waiting room.  All eyewear that have been touched by patients are continually being sanitized.   Any toys and magazines are stored at this time.  Examination areas are being sanitized with hospital grade disinfectant.  Debit and credit cards but NO CASH payments will be accepted.

COVID-19 symptoms are not always obvious.  We want to fend off this pandemic and minimize risk to our patients and the Foresight staff as front line health workers.   Contact that is closer than 2 m (6 feet) is to be avoided, with barriers in place when this cannot be avoided. We choose to continue to do our work and cautiously take care of our patients with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience.   It is a challenging and new experience for many of us, so let‘s support each other and prevent virus spread!  Beyond 2020, our focus is on take care of you and keeping Clean Hands, Clear Heads and Open Hearts.   For more information, please refer to the following web pages or phone Health Link 811.

Drs. Dianna Leong, Anh Bui, Andrew Chan