Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. The nerve transmits information between the eye and brain and, when damaged, can cause vision loss. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the country and worldwide. The exact cause is unknown, but increased eye pressure is usually a factor. If not treated, glaucoma can cause blindness.
Some people have a higher risk of developing glaucoma than others. Risk factors include:
High eye pressure.
An eye injury.
Being of African or Hispanic origin.
Family history of glaucoma.
Having myopia or hyperopia.
Having thin corneas.
Thinning optic nerve.
Health conditions such as diabetes, migraines, and poor blood circulation.
Unfortunately, glaucoma is not preventable. However, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of vision loss or severe eye damage. The steps you can take include the following:
Scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams.
Using prescription eyedrops to reduce eye pressure.
Using protective eyewear to prevent eye injuries.
Regular exercise can help lower intraocular pressure (IOP).
Taking care of your eyes will help protect your vision and eye health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will benefit not just your eyes but also your overall well-being.
Prompt diagnosis and effective treatment can help prevent vision loss from glaucoma. If identified in the early stages, eye specialists can recommend management to prevent the worsening of the condition.
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most prevalent form of the disease. It is silent and progressive and usually affects peripheral vision first. As it continues to progress, the central vision is affected. Glaucoma medications can help slow disease progression by reducing IOP. There are surgical treatments that can help prevent vision loss.
Scheduling regular eye exams are the best way to keep your eyes healthy. It is especially vital if you are at high risk of developing glaucoma. Your eye doctor will conduct a glaucoma screening and check your eye pressure during the exam.
The exam also includes checking for optic nerve damage and testing peripheral vision. A dilated eye exam allows eye doctors to examine the back of the eye. They can check for various eye conditions, including glaucoma, cataracts, and corneal disease. Your eye doctor can help determine how often you should get glaucoma screening.
People with glaucoma usually develop low vision, making it difficult to perform daily tasks. Over time, seeing clearly, even with eyeglasses or contacts, becomes difficult. There are low-vision resources that can help people with glaucoma. Lifelong management is necessary to maintain some level of vision. Taking medications as prescribed and informing your eye doctor about any side effects is crucial.
Eye specialists suggest that 50 percent of people with glaucoma do not realize they have it. It is helpful to learn about the disease and to take the necessary steps to reduce vision loss.
For more on preventing glaucoma, call Quality Eye Care to discuss any questions or schedule a comprehensive eye exam.