What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is vital for good vision. The damage to this nerve is often caused by high pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for individuals over 60 years old. It can occur at any age, but it is generally more common in older adults. High pressure in the eye is due to buildup of fluid that flows throughout the inside of your eye. When the eye is working properly, the fluid drains out of a tissue called the trabecular meshwork. When the fluid is overproduced, or is not draining properly, it can cause an increase in pressure. Glaucoma also tends to run in families.
What are symptoms of glaucoma?
The signs and symptoms of glaucoma can vary based on the stage and severity of the condition. Open-angle glaucoma is usually accompanied with patchy blind spots in your vision and tunnel vision during later stages. Acute angle-closure glaucoma could generate severe headaches, eye pain, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, halos around lights, and eye redness. Either type of glaucoma will cause blindness if left untreated.
What are the risk factors?
Because glaucoma can be detrimental to your eyesight, it is important to keep the following risk factors in mind:
- Having high internal eye pressure
- Being over age 60
- Being black, Asian or Hispanic
- Having a family history of glaucoma
- Having certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and sickle cell anemia
- Having corneas that are thin in the center
- Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
- Having had an eye injury or certain types of eye surgery
- Taking corticosteroid medications, especially eye drops, for a long time
How do I prevent glaucoma?
Having regular eye exams is the main way to prevent glaucoma. When examined regularly, glaucoma can be detected in its early stages before significant damage occurs. Other ways to help prevent glaucoma are to know your family's eye history, exercising safely, taking prescribed eye drops regularly, and wearing eye protection.
How to I make an appointment at Coley and Coley Family Eyecare to check for glaucoma?
You can make an appointment right from our website or always give us a call at 615-893-8847!