Glaucoma is one of the most common diseases associated with loss of vision. It is a group of diseases that attack the optic nerve of the eye which results in vision loss, even blindness. The good news is that if you catch glaucoma early, it is fairly treatable. Early detection and treatment will protect you from some potentially serious loss of vision.
Glaucoma can damage the optic nerve by creating too much pressure. The optic nerve is responsible for transmitting images to the brain. Without treatment, glaucoma can lead to total blindness within a few years. The early stages of glaucoma do not produce many symptoms, so it is important to see your eye doctor regularly to detect any possible signs of glaucoma.
Though increased pressure to the eye is often associated with causing glaucoma, it is possible for someone to have increased pressure and not have glaucoma. Contrastly, it is also possible for someone with little pressure on their eye to be diagnosed with glaucoma. Some people are just more susceptible.
Glaucoma is hereditary, so if you are over 40 and your family has a history of glaucoma, it is vital that you visit your eye doctor every one to two years. There are other factors that may put you at a high risk of getting glaucoma:
- If you are of African American or Hispanic descent..
- If you have poor vision.
- If you have diabetes.
There are two main types of glaucoma:
Open-angle glaucoma: The structures of the eye appear to be normal, however, the fluid in the eye does not flow nor drain correctly. Also known as wide-angle glaucoma, this is the most common type.
Angle-closure glaucoma: This is less common than open-angle glaucoma; it is caused by a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye which can also result in poor drainage of fluids.
Should you be diagnosed with glaucoma it is crucial that you follow your doctor’s orders so that you may prevent significant vision loss and blindness. Be sure to take your glaucoma medicine every day and schedule regular checkups with your eye doctor. Most cases of glaucoma can be treated with specially medicated eye drops, though there are some instances in which laser eye surgery or microsurgery may be required.
Preventing glaucoma is a mystery, however, you can control it and prevent continued loss of vision if it is treated early. The only way to treat it early is by seeing your eye doctor for a comprehensive examination every one to two years. Schedule your next eye exam with us at Optical Options so we can make sure your eyes are taken care of.