What is Glaucoma and How Can You Protect Your Eyesight? 

Jan 11, 2023 | Eye Health

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that damages the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and even blindness. While there is no cure for glaucoma, early detection and proper treatment can help slow down its progression. This blog post will cover what you need to know about glaucoma, including risk factors, signs, types of glaucoma, treatments, and the importance of regular eye exams. 

Risk factors 

Anyone can be affected by glaucoma; however, certain people are at higher risk than others. People with a family history of glaucoma are more likely to develop the condition as well as those over the age of 60. Other risk factors include:

  • Certain medical conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes
  • Nearsightedness and farsightedness 
  • Previous eye injury or eye surgery
  • Certain types of medication (like steroids)
  • African American or Hispanic heritage

Signs & symptoms 

Glaucoma often has no symptoms in its early stages. However, some people may experience blurred vision in one or both eyes (particularly when they look off to the side) or light sensitivity. If left untreated, patients may start to experience tunnel vision due to damage to the optic nerve. For this reason, you should see your eye doctor regularly so they can detect glaucoma before it damages your sight.

Types of glaucoma

There are several types of glaucoma with the most common being open-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma usually requires medication, such as eye drops, to reduce intraocular pressure and reduce further damage from occurring.

Conversely, angle-closure glaucoma generally requires laser surgery to open the blocked angle between the iris and the cornea, which allows fluid to drain from the eye. In some cases, implantable devices may be used to regulate fluid drainage and reduce intraocular pressure levels over time.     

If you think you might be at risk for developing glaucoma, you should take steps now to protect your vision by visiting an optometrist for regular exams. Let our office help you preserve your sight for years to come by scheduling an appointment today!