Glaucoma is an eye condition in which the optic nerve is damaged. Your optic nerves are a network of fibers that carry information between your eyes and your brain. This condition can lead to blindness, but early detection and proper eye care can help prevent major vision loss. Be proactive by discovering these need-to-know facts about glaucoma.
5 Commonly Asked Glaucoma Questions
What Causes Glaucoma?
Increased eye pressure is the primary culprit behind the optic nerve damage which causes glaucoma. In a healthy eye, fluid flows through space in the front of the eye called the anterior chamber. When it reaches the open angle where the cornea and iris meet, it drains and leaves the eye. In glaucoma, fluid drains too slowly, resulting in a buildup of pressure. This pressure can crush optic nerves and result in blurriness and vision loss.
What Are the Symptoms?
Typically, no symptoms of glaucoma manifest until vision loss occurs. For this reason, it’s critically important to see an eye care specialist regularly for exams. Optometrists use a number of methods for detecting glaucoma in its earliest stages when the disease’s progress can be slowed or controlled. They will conduct pressure tests, most of which involve bursts of air being pushed into your eye in order to check for build ups in pressure.
How Is it Detected?
In many cases, glaucoma is detected by eye care professionals through a dilated eye exam. This involves the use of special drops which dilate the pupils, allowing the doctor to examine the retina and optic nerve. Modern facilities also use the GDx eye exam, which simply requires the patient to look into a special scanning system which safely assesses the back of the eye.
What Are the Risk Factors?
While experts don’t yet know the exact interplay of genetic or other factors that cause glaucoma, having high blood pressure could increase your risk. The increased blood flow can cause pressure to increase more quickly in conjunction with the build up of fluid behind the eye. Additionally, having a family history of glaucoma and being over the age of 60 may put individuals at a higher risk. In high-risk populations, using eyedrops can reduce the risk of developing glaucoma.
Can it be Treated?
While there is no cure for glaucoma, early interventions can minimize symptoms and slow the disease’s progression. Therapies may include medicines used to limit the amount of fluid the eyes produce, draining procedures, and surgery to reduce eye pressure. If you begin to notice blurry or strained vision, consult with your eye doctor about creating a specific eye care plan.
Whether you suspect you could be at risk for glaucoma or you’re simply due for an eye exam, contact Wing Eyecare. With locations throughout Ohio and Kentucky, these eye care experts offer a full range of comprehensive vision services, including GDx glaucoma screenings. To schedule an appointment at your nearest facility, call (888) 274-9464 or explore their locations online.