Why Glaucoma Awareness Month is Observed

Man with glasses holding coffee

Today, over 3 million Americans have glaucoma. For this reason, the American Academy of Ophthalmology observes January as Glaucoma Awareness Month.
Glaucoma reduces vision by up to 40 percent before its detection. It is a progressive condition, meaning it becomes worse with time.

If you do not have regular eye examinations and glaucoma goes undetected and untreated, the disease gets worse. This leads to damage to your optic nerve, which impairs your vision permanently.

The attention brought from this awareness month brings the disease is invaluable. This is because when diagnosed in its early stages, the worst glaucoma symptoms can be delayed with proper treatment and management.

Glaucoma patients may be able to preserve their remaining vision for years. Below are facts about glaucoma that can help protect you from it.

Glaucoma Does Not Usually Have Symptoms

Open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma, often does not have symptoms. Loss of vision starts with peripheral vision. You may unconsciously compensate by turning your head while not noticing something is wrong.

You Can Have Glaucoma Even with Normal Eye Pressure

While glaucoma is normally caused by high intraocular pressure, it can also occur even when your eye pressure is normal. This form of glaucoma is called normal-pressure glaucoma.

Patients with this form of glaucoma are thought to be more susceptible to damaged optic nerves. Due to this, despite their normal eye pressure, their optic nerve still degenerates gradually.

The Disease Can Affect Anyone at Any Age

Glaucoma is more prevalent in older adults. Many people assume that the rest of the population should not be concerned about it, but that is not true. Younger adults also develop glaucoma, and some babies are born with it.

Not All Types of Glaucoma are Hereditary

Glaucoma is not always genetic; other risk factors for developing the condition include:
● Severe nearsightedness.
● Medical conditions like high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, heart disease, and diabetes.
● Long-term use of steroid medications.
● Older adults over the age of 60.
● Being African American, Asian, or Hispanic.
● Eye trauma.

Glaucoma Has No Cure But Treatment Can Slow It Down or Halt Progression

Damage to the optic nerve from glaucoma is irreversible. But lowering the eye pressure can prevent further loss of peripheral vision and more damage to the optic nerve.
The best treatment approach for glaucoma depends on the severity and nature of each case. Taking oral medication, eye drops, laser treatment, and surgery are used to slow or halt further damage from occurring.


For many glaucoma patients, the first treatment options that eye doctors try to lower intraocular pressure are eye drops. This is often also given in combination with oral medication.
Both help to lower eye pressure. They also change the circulation of eye fluid by either increasing the flow from the drainage angle or decreasing fluid production inside the eye.

Laser Treatment

Trabeculoplasty, a kind of laser treatment for open-angle glaucoma, is used to improve the drainage function in the eye to control intraocular pressure.


Your ophthalmologist will create a new bypass for draining out the eye fluid, lowering your eye pressure. There are many surgical options for treating glaucoma.

Don’t Let Glaucoma Steal Your Vision

The eye doctors at Grand Rapids Ophthalmology are dedicated to helping our patients maintain the best vision possible. We use the most advanced technology for testing and diagnosing glaucoma.

This is followed by comprehensive glaucoma treatment and management to preserve our patient’s sight. If you’re experiencing signs of glaucoma or you have glaucoma, be a part of Glaucoma Awareness Month this January by going for frequent eye examinations to prevent unnecessary loss of vision.

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Our Locations

Grand Rapids Ophthalmology is pleased to provide top-quality, comprehensive eye care to our patients in the Greater Grand Rapids area. We have 15 conveniently located eye care centers that utilize the latest and most advanced technologies across the entire spectrum of ophthalmology. If you are seeking information about one of our eye care locations please click into our locations page for more information. Hours are subject to change due to upcoming Holidays.

Construction Update: US-131 southbound is now closed between Burton and 28th Street. The ramp from US-131 northbound to I-96 westbound is also closed and will remain closed all summer. Please allow extra travel time and plan routes accordingly to arrive for your appointment on time.

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East Beltline
Grand Rapids Ophthalmology
East Beltline Medical Center
750 East Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
(Located on the Southeast corner of East Beltline and Bradford - enter from Bradford)
M, W, Th, F: 8am – 5pm
Late Night – T: 8am – 7pm
Sat: 8am – 11am
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 8am-5pm
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Grand Rapids Ophthalmology
Rivertown Office Center
4475 Wilson Ave SW
Grandville, MI 49418
(Located on the Northwest corner of 44th St/Rivertown Pkwy and Wilson - enter from Wilson)
Tu, W, F: 8am-5pm
Late Nights – M, Th: 8am-7pm
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 8am-5pm
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Grand Rapids Ophthalmology (Located on the upper level)
3300 Walker View Dr
Walker, MI 49544
(Located North of Walker Avenue exit on I-96 – enter on the upper level)
M, T, Th, F: 8am-5pm
Late Night – W: 8am-7pm
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 8am-5pm
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Grand Rapids Ophthalmology
Spectrum Health South Campus
80 68th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49548
(Located on Southeast corner of 68th St and Division)
M, W, Th, F: 8am-5pm
Late Night – Tu: 8am-6pm
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 8am-5pm
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Grand Rapids Ophthalmology
Mercy Health Campus
6050 Northland Dr NE, Suite 100
Rockford, MI 49341
M, W, Th, F: 8am-5pm
Late Night – Tu: 8am-7pm
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 7am-5pm
Grand Rapids Ophthalmology
Mercy Health Campus
10047 Crossroads Ct SE
Caledonia, MI 49316
M, Tu, W, Th, F: 8am-5pm
Closed 12pm-1pm daily
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 8am-5pm
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East Grand Rapids
Lakeshore Eye
717 Bagley Ave SE
East Grand Rapids, MI 49506
M-Th: 8am-5pm
F: Closed (until December 1, 2023)
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Grand Rapids Ophthalmology
Lakeshore Medical Campus
3235 N Wellness Dr, Suite 130
Holland, MI 49424
(Located ¼ mile East of US-31 on the left)
M, W, Th: 8am-5pm
F: 7:30am-3:30pm
Late Night – Tu: 8am-7pm
Phones answered Mon thru Thurs 8am-5pm & Fri 7:30am-3:30pm
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Grand Rapids Ophthalmology
537 W Main St
Ionia, MI 48846
M, W, Th, F: 8am-5pm
Late Night – Tu: 8am-7pm
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 8am-5pm
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Grand Rapids Ophthalmology
705 S Greenville W Dr. #Suite 201
Greenville MI 48838
M: 7:30am-6pm
Tu, W: 7:30am-4:30pm
Th: 8am-5pm
F: 7:30am-4:30pm
511 Wilson Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
M, W, Th, F: 8am-5pm
Late Night – T: 8am-7pm
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 8am – 5pm
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GRO Surgical Center
Grand Rapids Ophthalmology Surgical Care Center
750 East Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
(Located on Southeast corner of East Beltline and Bradford – enter on the second floor)
M, TU, W, Th, F: 8am-5pm
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 8am-5pm
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Walker Surgical Center
Walker Surgical Center
3300 Walker View Dr
Walker, MI 49544
(Located North of Walker Avenue exit on I-96 – enter on the lower level)
M, Tu, W, Th, F: 6am-5pm
Phones answered Mon thru Fri 6am-5pm
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