Glaucoma: Silent but Serious
Glaucoma is a type of eye disease that damages the optic nerve. This damage often occurs as the result of high intraocular pressure but can also happen for other reasons. As the optic nerve takes damage, it loses its ability to send visual information to the brain, causing irreversible vision loss and eventual blindness.
Over 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma, but over half don’t know it. Since glaucoma usually shows no symptoms before impairing eyesight, regular eye exams are a must for catching this disease early and slowing down its effects.
What Kinds of Glaucoma Are There?
Many types of glaucoma exist, but some of the most common are:
The most common type of glaucoma occurs when spongy tissue near your cornea blocks off a drainage canal in your eye. As the fluid backs up, the pressure inside your eye increases and damages the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma happens slowly, and many people don’t realize they have it until their vision has been compromised.
This type of glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is damaged by something other than high pressure inside the eye. The exact causes of normal-tension glaucoma are still unknown, but people with a family history of the disease are at higher risk for developing it.
Anyone can develop glaucoma, so glaucoma testing is important no matter who you are. We look for signs of glaucoma during each eye exam to help protect all our patients.
Signs of Glaucoma
Remember, these symptoms are only potential indicators for glaucoma and cannot be considered definitive. Contact your eye doctor for confirmation if you experience:
- Halos around lights
- Painful headaches more often than usual
- Sudden or intense nausea
- Vision that blurs unexpectedly
- Redness in the eye area with no apparent explanation
Worried About Glaucoma? Get Answers Today
Whether you’ve recently experienced glaucoma symptoms or are simply trying to assess your risk for this disease, our optometrists can help. Contact us to request an eye exam to screen for glaucoma today.
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