Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a staff member will be contacting patients to reschedule routine, non-emergent appointments for a May appointment date or later. Effective March 23rd, our office will be available for urgent appointments only. If you have any changes in vision, eye pain, eye infection, or any eye concerns, please call 904-355-5555 to reach an on-call doctor. If you need a prescription refill, please call your pharmacy and have them fax us a request. All requests should be completed within 24-48 hours. Thank you from the staff of Jacksonville Eye Center. Stay Safe and Healthy.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is National Glaucoma Awarness Month. It is an important time to spread the word and raise awareness about glaucoma, which is considered a thief of sight. There are virtually no symptoms associated with the disease and once vision is lost, it is gone for good. As much as 40% of one’s vision can be lost before a change is noticed. This condition is considered the leading cause of preventable blindness.
There is no cure for glaucoma but with early detection, medication or surgery, it can slowed down and further vision loss can be prevented. Over 2.7 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of these individuals do not even know they have the disease. With these numbers growing it is very important to receive regular eye examinations.
What is glaucoma?
There are two main types of glaucoma. First is primary open-angle glaucoma and the second type is angle-closure glaucoma. These are marked by an increase of intraocular pressure, or pressure inside the eye. Secondary glaucoma refers to any case in which another disease causes or contributes to increased eye pressure.
In a healthy eye, clear fluid is constantly being made behind the iris leaving the eye through a microscopic drainage canal in front of the eye. If this drainage channel becomes blocked, the pressure inside the eye goes up and often causes glaucoma damage to the optic nerve. This is the nerve that connects the eye to the brain so damage to it causes loss of vision.
Who is at risk?
While the causes of glaucoma are not completely known, risk factors for its development include a family history of glaucoma, race and older age. Glaucoma may affect people of any age from newborns to the elderly, but is more common in adults as they approach their senior years. African-Americans, Hispanics and people with diabetes are also at increased risk of developing the disease.

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