January is recognized as National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Quincy Medical Group (QMG) Ophthalmologist and Glaucoma Specialist Dr. David Phillips said this month is a good time to bring awareness to the disease.

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve. It usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in the eye, damaging the optic nerve.

“With most glaucoma, there are no warning signs or obvious symptoms in the early stages,” explained Dr. Phillips. “As the disease progresses, blind spots develop in the peripheral (side) vision. This damage is generally irreversible, which is why early detection with routine eye exams are so important.”

For those who have glaucoma, there are options to slow or prevent further vision loss.

“While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are a multitude of medical and surgical treatment options all geared towards lowering the eye pressure and preventing blindness,” he said.

Comprehensive and regular eye exams are important in detecting glaucoma. Dr. Phillips said the eye care team at QMG is here for patients who have concerns.

“As always, our ophthalmic team at QMG would be happy to evaluate and recommend treatment options for any individual patient with specific questions or concerns,” he said.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit qmqeyes.com or call (217) 222-EYES (3937).