Glaucoma is an eye disease that slowly damages the nerve for vision at the back of the eye which is the optic nerve. This condition is often linked to high pressure inside the eye but can also occur with normal pressure. Early detection and treatment can prevent or delay vision loss caused by Glaucoma.
What are the warning signs of Glaucoma? Well, most often, Glaucoma has no symptoms until significant damages have been done to the optic nerves. This can lead to vision loss which often starts with the loss of peripheral (side) vision. In most cases, this can happen gradually.
Glaucoma can occur in both eyes but one eye might be significantly worse than the other. In very rare occasions, people may develop a sudden-offset, painful form of Glaucoma with rapid loss of vision. This is not something to take likely as this is a medical emergency.
Are you at risk? All individuals over the age of 40 are at risk. This risk increases with age. Those who are over the age of 70 are three times more likely to develop Glaucoma than a 40 year old. People with a family history of Glaucoma are eight times more likely to develop it. African and Asian descents are exposed to the risk of Glaucoma. Those who have diabetes, those who are very short or long-sighted and those who have had previous eye injuries or who take corticosteriod medications are at risk as well.
There are ways to prevent or delay having your vision loss and that is by having a regular eye test by a qualified eye health practitioner such as an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. These test should include an optic nerve and eye pressure check. Visit an eye health professional as soon as possible if you are experiencing any vision changes.
Early detection is essential. Do NOT wait for symptoms and have regular eye tests. When Glaucoma is diagnosed, treatment can usually slow or stop the disease from getting worse. Treatments are aimed to maintain vision throughout life. Book an appointment now or call us for more answers.