National Glaucoma Awareness Month takes place annually in January, giving employers and advocates across the U.S. an opportunity to show their support.
There are reportedly more than three million people in the U.S. living with glaucoma, a figure that could increase to 4.2 million by 2030, according to the National Eye Institute.
What is Glaucoma?
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. It is often caused by fluid building up and creating pressure inside the eye.
Many aren’t aware that glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and without early diagnosis and treatment from your ophthalmologist, it can lead to vision loss. There currently is no cure for glaucoma and one’s vision loss is unfortunately irreversible.
If you’ve been following Getting Hired blogs and social media, you’ll know that over 80 percent of disabilities are acquired through someone’s lifetime. Glaucoma is an example of a disability that is typically acquired with individuals over the age of 40 as they’re at a higher risk for glaucoma according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
How to get involved in Glaucoma Awareness Month
It’s important for advocates to help spread awareness as glaucoma can develop slowly over many years and often begins with only minor or barely detectable symptoms. Due to this, many people don’t realize they have glaucoma.
Here are some of the ways you can help throughout January:
The goal for January is to encourage people to get regular eye examinations. Employers should consider having information about receiving eye examinations on their recommended employee well-being checklists.
Request a free information booklet from the Glaucoma Research Foundation and make this resource available to your employees on your intranet websites.
Help organize or show support for community events, such as fundraisers, information sessions, group discussions and appearances by expert speakers.
Take to social media to tweet and post about Glaucoma Awareness Month by sharing facts about the disability and recommending everyone to make appointments for regular eye examinations.
Share this sample Tweet:
January is #GlaucomaAwarenessMonth! Did you know there are currently more than 3 million people within the U.S. currently living with glaucoma? Learn more from @gettinghired here: http://bit.ly/2s7jbfT
Prepare for upcoming national diversity and disability inclusion events
To help inclusive employers, advocacy groups, media and individuals plan for their 2019 celebratory campaigns, Getting Hired created a list of some of the top diversity and disability inclusion campaigns you should consider including in your 2019 strategy.