What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve as pressure builds up within the eye. It is very serious and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. About 10% of people who get glaucoma will lose vision even with the correct treatment, without treatment it is even higher. It is estimated that as many as 3 million people have glaucoma but only half of them are aware of it. This is because many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs. The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage. This eye disease needs to be taken seriously and in Las Vegas, a visit to an optometry professional at Advanced Eyecare can make sure your eyes are safe.
Who is at Risk for Glaucoma
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, it can occur at any age but is more common in older adults. For people above the age of 60, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. African Americans are more liable to have it at a younger age and they also are between 6-8% more likely to get this disease.
Types of Glaucoma
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type. It is something that happens gradually with no symptoms so it is often far advanced when it is diagnosed unless you get regular eye exams.
This type of glaucoma is caused by the way the iris is situated in the eye. Eventually, it blocks the eye drainage (this can be over a long period of time) and causes an acute attack that needs to be treated immediately.
It is very common to notice no symptoms at all in the early stages of glaucoma. Sometimes when the symptoms become noticeable it can be too late to recover any lost vision. Some common noticeable symptoms include:
- Blurry vision
- Severe eye pain
- Halos in rainbow colors around lights
In order to diagnose Glaucoma your optometry professional needs to give you a dilated eye exam. Many people don't like these exams and as a result, don't get them. If you are at high risk or over 60 years old, this should be done every year or two.
While there is no cure for glaucoma it is important that it be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. The most common method of lowering the interocular pressure is with eye drops. This poses problems because some people do not do this correctly and eyes are not great at absorbing the medication. Also, some of the eye drops have side effects which can be difficult to deal with. But the alternative is loss of vision so the drops need to used religiously.
If you have any questions or if you want to set up an eye exam in Las Vegas, Advanced Eyecare is available at (702) 737-3937.