Glaucoma is an eye condition that affects more than 80 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of vision loss in 1 in 50 adults today. While most people have heard of glaucoma, many are unaware of how regular eye exams help safeguard their vision. Understanding glaucoma is essential to early detection and intervention when it comes to eye health. Here are five crucial facts about glaucoma everyone should know.
How Glaucoma Causes Permanent Vision Loss
Vison loss created by glaucoma is caused by abnormally high pressure within the eye. This high pressure permanently damages the optic nerve, which is responsible for delivering messages from the eye to the brain. While glaucoma symptoms can be managed, any vision loss that has already occurred can not be reversed. Regular eye exams are crucial to early diagnosis of glaucoma and prevention.
Most People With Glaucoma Are Unaware That They Have It
A troubling aspects of glaucoma is that half of the people who have it don't even realize it. Primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common type, has no apparent symptoms in the early stages of the disease. While having regular eye exams is the best way to detect glaucoma, some risk factors increase a person's chances of developing the condition.
· Family history
· Being age 60 and older
· High blood pressure
· Hispanic, African, or Asian descent
· Underactive thyroid
It is vital to know that glaucoma can be treated yet not cured. Early detection of glaucoma can slow the damage and manage symptoms. Any vision lost before treatment will not be restored, but the progression of the disease can be delayed or even stopped entirely. Some of the most common treatments for glaucoma may include:
* Oral medications
* Prescription eye drops that lower eye pressure
* Laser therapies
* Surgery to remove obstructions in the eye
* Trabecular stent bypass
Annual Eye Exams For Glaucoma Intervention And Treatment
Regardless of your risk factors for developing glaucoma, it is essential to your eye health to receive annual eye exams. Catching glaucoma in its early stages is critical to preventing permanent vision loss. Your eye doctor uses several types of non-invasive tests to detect glaucoma. These tests measure eye pressure, detect peripheral vision loss, determine if the drainage system is clear, test the thickness of the cornea, and monitor any nerve damage through digital imaging.
Glaucoma is an eye condition that can cause permanent blindness if not detected and managed in its early stages. Speak to your eye doctor about your concerns regarding glaucoma and how it may affect you.