January 16

Your Eyes Matter

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

Out of curiosity, I did a little research about the month of January and found some important and some fun information. For instance, did you know that January was not always the first month of the year. Until 450 BC, the calendar year began in March. January and February were the last months of the year.

It was in January 1776 that Thomas Paine published Common Sense, a 50-page pamphlet that advocated independence from Great Britain. The California Gold Rush began on Jan. 24, 1848 when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. Caloma is located a little more than 35 miles northeast of Sacramento.

In January 1914, Henry Ford introduced a $5 a day wage for all Ford workers, and in January 1922, insulin was introduced as a treatment for diabetes.

The first Winter Olympics was held in January 1924 in the French Alps, and Elvis Presley was born on Jan. 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. In January 1964, the U.S. Attorney General declared that cigarettes may be hazardous to your health.

January also is designated as National Glaucoma Month. Glaucoma is one of the most common diseases of the eye, and according to the National Eye Institute, the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States. Older adults are among those most at risk.

The loss of vision is caused by damage to the optic nerve. The job of the optic nerve is to transfer visual information from your eye to the vision centers of your brain via electrical impulses.

The challenges are that glaucoma generally has no symptoms and once vision is lost, it is lost. The Glaucoma Foundation notes that as much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.

The good news is that glaucoma can be treated with medicines, laser treatment or surgery.  It can be detected with a dilated eye exam.

In a National Eye Institute video, a doctor explains glaucoma and how to treat the condition. 

More information about glaucoma also can be found on the Glaucoma Foundation website.

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