Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Glaucoma is a very misunderstood disease. Often, people don’t realize the potential severity of the disease or who is at risk of acquiring the disease. It most often occurs in people over age 40, although a congenital or infantile form of glaucoma exists. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans over the age of 40, and Hispanics over the age of 60 are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Other risk factors include thinner corneas, chronic eye inflammation, and using medications that increase the pressure in the eyes.
With open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, there are virtually no symptoms. Usually, no pain is associated with increased eye pressure. Vision loss begins with peripheral or side vision. You may compensate for this unconsciously by turning your head to the side, and may not notice anything until significant vision is lost. The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get tested. If you have glaucoma, treatment can begin immediately
A less common type of glaucoma, acute angle closure glaucoma, usually occurs abruptly due to a rapid increase of pressure in the eye. Its symptoms may include severe eye pain, nausea, redness in the eye, seeing colored rings around lights, and blurred vision. This condition is an ocular emergency, and medical attention should be sought immediately, as severe vision loss can occur quickly.
Glaucoma is not curable, and vision lost cannot be regained. With medication and/or surgery, it is possible to halt further loss of vision. That is why the American Optometric Association recommends an annual dilated eye examination for people at risk for glaucoma as a preventive eye care measure.
All of our doctors at Uptown Eye Care check for signs of glaucoma at every eye health evaluation appointment. If you are due for your annual exam contact us.
Glaucoma Awareness Minnesota