4 Things You can Learn About Glaucoma from Bono
One of the biggest glaucoma-related news stories of 2014 was Bono's revelation that he has the condition. While his comments about it have been brief, there are important tips the public can learn about glaucoma following the rockstar's announcement.
1. Having glaucoma doesn't mean you have to go blind.
When Bono announced he had glaucoma, he revealed that he has had the condition for many years. He serves as a great example of how many people with glaucoma can keep their sight and still lead very active lives if treated early enough. In fact, the probability of blindness due to glaucoma has decreased by nearly half since 1980. Researchers believe that advances in diagnosis and therapy are likely causes for the decrease.
2. Glaucoma treatments work!
It's no wonder the public never suspected that Bono had an eye disease – that's how effective glaucoma treatments, such as medicated eye drops and minimally invasive surgery, can be. "I have good treatments and I am going to be fine," Bono said at the time of the announcement.
3. The earlier you get diagnosed, the better.
The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early diagnosis. While the details of his treatment have not been shared with the public, 54 year-old Bono said he has had the disease for over 20 years, so it's likely he was diagnosed at an early stage. Blindness from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment.
4. Glaucoma may have no obvious symptoms in its early stages.
As you get older, it is especially important to have regular medical eye exams. The only sure way to diagnose glaucoma is with a complete eye exam. A screening that only checks eye pressure is not enough to find glaucoma. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all adults (even if they have no signs of symptoms of eye problems) get a baseline eye examination at least by age 40, the time when early signs of disease or changes in vision may occur. A baseline exam can help identify signs of eye disease at an early stage when many treatments can have the greatest impact on preserving vision. Of course, if you have any problems with your vision or eye comfort before age 40, don't wait; make an appointment with an ophthalmologist right away.