Glaucoma affects more than 3 million people in the United States (60 million worldwide). And current predictions are that the number of people diagnosed with glaucoma will increase by as much as sixty percent by 2030. A frightening trend. It’s the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of sixty. And most forms of glaucoma have no warning signs, and the changes in vision can happen so gradually that it’s possible not to notice the condition until it’s in advanced stages.
Glaucoma is a reason to have regular eye exams. Vision loss due to glaucoma can never be recovered. And when glaucoma is caught in its early stages it can be properly treated and the vision lost can be slowed or even prevented entirely. Unfortunately, however, if you do develop glaucoma you’ll likely need to treat the condition indefinitely.
Glaucoma occurs because the optical nerve gets damaged. The damage to the nerve is thought to be caused by an increase in pressure in the eye. And as the nerve deteriorates, blind spots begin to develop. These blind spots may be unnoticeable at first, depending on the stage of the condition, and the blind spots can develop anywhere; both the peripheral (side) and central vision can be affected.
Possible symptoms vary, although the most common are a moderate-to-severe headache, eye pain, nausea, blurred vision, eye redness, and halo vision around lights.
While you can’t prevent glaucoma entirely, there are a few ways to detect it in its earliest stages. One of the best ways is to understand your susceptibility to the disease; if you have a family history of glaucoma you could be at a higher risk for contracting it. Wear eye protection when you play sports or work around power tools, because damage to the eye can cause an increase in pressure, which can then lead to glaucoma. And perhaps most importantly, remember to schedule regular eye exams. If you are someone with a family history of the disease then you may want to schedule frequent exams. Call Vision Optical to schedule today!