Glaucoma

By Jennifer Palaske and Samantha Toth, A.B.O.C.

Regardless of your age, scheduling an annual eye health examination is one of the most important things to do for yourself. Many vision problems go undetected because they do not have symptoms related to a change in vision. However, they can be detected during a comprehensive eye health exam. Without treatment many of these difficulties can lead to significant vision loss and in extreme cases, blindness.

Glaucoma is one of the most common vision disorders, as well as one of the leading causes of blindness for people ages 40 years and older. Glaucoma is associated with a significant increase of pressure in the eye, which often takes place without any visible symptoms or warning signs. As is progresses, peripheral vision can be lost gradually without notice, until it is quite advanced, leading to a narrow visual field that often only allows a person to see the center of the visual field.

In many cases, glaucoma has no warning signs, and without early diagnosis can become disabling for the individual. Detecting it early is possible during the testing performed in a routine eye exam. For this reason, annual eye examinations are vital. Vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be restored. However, it can respond well with medication if caught and treated early, to control the further loss of vision.

Protect your eyes by calling today to schedule your routine eye health examination.

Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss and is the second leading cause of blindness.

The most common form of glaucoma occurs when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time. The inner eye pressure, also called intraocular pressure or IOP, rises because the correct amount of fluid can’t drain out of the eye. With the most common form of glaucoma, the entrances to the drainage canals are clear, and should be working correctly. However, the clogging problem occurs further inside the drainage canals (similar to a clogged pipe below the drain of a sink).

Most people have no symptoms and no early warning signs. If open angle glaucoma is not diagnosed and treated, it can cause a gradual loss of vision. This type of glaucoma develops slowly and sometimes without visible sight loss for many years. It usually responds well to medication, especially if caught early and treated.

While anyone can develop glaucoma, a higher risk is associated due to family history, individuals over 40 years of age, diabetics, individuals of african or mediterranean descent, as well as those who’ve experienced an eye injury or trauma.

People with glaucoma rarely experience symptoms, but each day, their vision becomes less and less clear. For this reason, routine eye examinations are more important than ever to help identify symptoms of glaucoma. Your eye doctor can detect elevated pressure within the eye, which can cause damage to the optic nerve that carries images to the brain. Left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness. Call your eye doctor today for more information.

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