What is Glaucoma, the Silent Thief of Sight?

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. Abnormally high pressure often causes this damage in your eye. Did you know that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60? However, blindeness from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment. 

Who Is At Risk For Glaucoma? 

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, some people have a higher than average risk of getting glaucoma, and this includes: 

  • are over age 40
  • have family members with glaucoma
  • are of African, Hispanic, or Asian heritage
  • have high eye pressure
  • are farsighted or nearsighted
  • have had an eye injury
  • use long-term steroid medications
  • have corneas that are thin in the center
  • have thinning of the optic nerve
  • have diabetesmigraines, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation, or other health problems affecting the whole body

Talk with your eye doctor about your risk of getting glaucoma. People with more than one of the risk factors above have an even higher risk of being diagnosed with glaucoma. 

Glaucoma Diagnosis

The only sure way to diagnose glaucoma is with a complete eye exam. A glaucoma screening that only checks eye pressure is not enough to find glaucoma.

During a glaucoma exam, your eye doctor will:

  • measure your eye pressure
  • inspect your eye’s drainage angle
  • examine your optic nerve for damage
  • test your peripheral (side) vision
  • take a picture or computer measurement of your optic nerve
  • measure the thickness of your cornea

What Are The Symptoms of Glaucoma? 

Some people have no signs of damage, but they may have a higher than normal eye pressure called ocular hypertension. This is why glaucoma has been named a silent thief of sight. Glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages. However, patients considered “glaucoma suspects” have a higher risk of developing glaucoma even if their eye pressure is normal, which is why it is so important to be monitored by your eye doctor if you are a glaucoma suspect. 

What Is The Best Glaucoma Treatment? 

Treating glaucoma successfully is a team effort between you and your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will guide you to the best treatment option that suits your needs. We are here to help you understand your condition, help you manage and stop the progression of the disease. To learn more about glaucoma treatment, call us TODAY to make your appointment. 

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References: American Academy of Ophthalmology 

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.