January can mean a lot of different things for everyone. Some find the first month of a new year as the time to wipe their slates clean and start over, others continue the path they are going, without a care in the world. And yet others take the month of January and use it to try and change things that are happening in the world, rather than themselves. One important fight for change is in the area of Glaucoma, as the month of January has been dedicated to raising awareness and inspiring action against the disease to as many people as possible; slowing down the epidemic of blindness that is looming on the aging population.
According to the World Health Organization, Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, with approximately 120,000 cases accounted for in the United States. Not only that, the most common version of the disease causes almost unnoticeable symptoms, making early detection more difficult. Knowing this information is not enough to really help though, it is imperative to get regular eye exams and to tell others to do it too, that way the illness can be halted as early as possible, and treatment (if necessary) can begin.
Why Helping Matters
Raising awareness about Glaucoma is important because when people have information brought to their attention, odds are they will take in at least some of it. “Raising awareness” can mean many things, and sometimes it can mean passing along knowledge to another person. One prime example is the Glaucoma Research Foundation using January as a time to band together and produce articles, posts and events designed to get through to other people just cruising about their everyday lives. The hope is to inspire those people to stand up and spread awareness themselves, or to motivate them to rise to action in other helpful ways.
How to Help (Action Items)
When raising awareness about Glaucoma, provoking action from this awareness is the goal. Whether that action be to inspire others to spread awareness, or to inspire people to help in different avenues. Fortunately, the Glaucoma Research Foundation has found some ways that interested advocates can aid the fight against the disease:
- Telling friends & family about Glaucoma
- Referring friends to visit glaucoma.org
- Requesting a free informational booklet for oneself or a friend
- Getting involved in the community by donating money or joining/hosting an event where proceeds go towards research in treatment against the disease
Glaucoma can be scary because the disease can sneak up on a person, and they may not even notice the loss in vision until a good amount of sight has already been gone. This makes telling as many people about the illness and inspiring action imperative in the fight against the disease. The Glaucoma Research Foundation is a non-profit organization that works day and night in the fight by funding innovative research that helps preserve vision and find a cure for the illness. Interested parties can should join the fight today by telling others, or donating a gift; every second counts!
1) Glaucoma Research Foundation. 2017. “January is Glaucoma Awareness Month”. Retrieved from: https://www.glaucoma.org/news/glaucoma-awareness-month.php .