We’re here! We’ve reached the end of our series on the five most common eye conditions that affect us as we age. These conditions can cause anything from impaired vision and eye discomfort to blindness. But the good news is that most of these diseases can be detected early and treated to slow progression.
Now, let’s get into the details of today’s condition, Glaucoma.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is actually a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve, that if left untreated results in vision loss and blindness. It happens in most cases when fluid pressure in the eyes slowly builds. The condition is age-related and affects an estimated 3 million Americans.
What are some of the common symptoms of Glaucoma?
Quite often there are no warning signs or symptoms and the progression of Glaucoma is slow so it can be hard to detect. It is extremely important to get annual eye exams for early detection.
One form of Glaucoma, Closed-angle Glaucoma presents with sudden onset symptoms (if you experience these see your eye doctor immediately):
- Eye pain or pressure
- Rainbow color halos around lights
- Low, blurry, narrow/tunnel vision or blind spots
- Nausea and vomiting
- Red eyes
What are some of the causes of Glaucoma?
Glaucoma can occur without cause, but is often affected by eye pressure. Risk increase with age. Other risk factors can include:
- Family history
- Farsightedness or hyperopia (for Closed-angle Glaucoma) and Nearsightedness or myopia (for Open-angle Glaucoma)
- High blood pressure
- Long-term use of steroids
- Previous eye injury or surgery
How do we treat Glaucoma?
With early treatment, serious vision loss can be prevented. These treatments may include medications, laser therapy, or surgery.
How do I prevent developing Glaucoma?
Early detection through eye exams are the best way to protect your vision.
If you have any questions about Glaucoma, or any of the four other conditions we discussed in this series (Dry Eye, Cataract, Diabetic Retinopathy, or Macular Degeneration), give us a call at The Eye Site.
We’re happy to work with you to optimize your chances for a long, healthy life with good vision!