Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. The health of the optic nerve is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adults and should be an area of focus during an eye exam beginning around 40 years of age.
In its early stages, glaucoma doesn’t cause any symptoms. Glaucoma has already caused permanent vision damage by the time it has a noticeable effect on your vision. That’s why the disease is known as the “silent thief of sight.”
The first stage of vision loss from glaucoma is a deterioration in your peripheral vision, or side-vision. When the disease is left untreated, the disease can eventually cause full blindness in one or both eyes.
The best approach to treating glaucoma is prevention. Regular eye exams, including a glaucoma screening, are the surest way to detect the disease early.
Glaucoma causes irreversible vision loss, but with treatment, you can reduce the pressure in your eye and prevent further damage to your vision. Treatment is most effective when glaucoma is detected early because, at that point, you have more vision to preserve.
Your optometrist may prescribe eye drops that decrease fluid production in your eye or help fluid to drain. If eye drops don’t lower the pressure in your eye, your optometrist may refer you to an ophthalmologist for surgery. Surgery options for glaucoma include laser surgery and microsurgery, which are designed to improve your eye’s drainage channel.
Though glaucoma isn’t curable, it can be controlled, especially with early detection. To learn more about treatment options or schedule a glaucoma screening, call Site to See, or use the online booking feature.