Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve. It can progressively get worse and is typically inherited. For many, glaucoma does not make an appearance until late in life. It is common for people with glaucoma to not experience pain or early symptoms. The intraocular pressure created by glaucoma can severely damage the optic nerve and lead to permanent vision loss without treatment. Here, we will provide an overview of glaucoma including the signs you should watch out for.
Those who get glaucoma are generally adults over the age of 40, but it is possible for young adults and children to get the disease as well. Other risk factors include:
- African-American, Russian, Irish, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent
- Have diabetes, poor vision, or trauma to the eyes
- Have a family history of glaucoma
- Take steroid medications like prednisone
As mentioned, many people do not experience early symptoms of glaucoma, which is precisely why regular eye exams are so important. When they do experience symptoms, these may include: eye redness, vision loss, nausea or vomiting, eye pain, tunnel vision, or seeing halos around lights.
How to Diagnose Glaucoma
During an eye exam, your eye doctor will use special drops to dilate your pupils. He will then test your eyes and check your optic nerve. Photographs may be taken of the nerve to assist with tracking the disease. A test called tonometry will also be administered to check eye pressure. In some cases, a visual field test will be done to check for vision loss. These tests are quick and painless.
Seeking Treatment for Glaucoma
Once your glaucoma has been diagnosed, treatment will be recommended. This may include prescription eye drops, micro surgery, or laser surgery. Treatments that decrease eye pressure can help preserve your sight.
Arrange an Eye Appointment
To help maintain healthy eyes, be sure to schedule regular eye exams. These regular exams will enable your eye doctor to catch the early signs of glaucoma and help you being a treatment plan. You can reach Aker Kasten Eye Center, located in Boca Raton, Florida, by calling (561) 338-7722.