What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is any of a group of eye diseases which can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss or even blindness. In most cases, this damage occurs when there is a build-up of fluid in the front part of your eye. This fluid puts pressure on the eye (intraocular pressure), which will continue to get worse unless treated. For some, this pressure may even go unnoticed without regular check-ups, eventually leading to permanent damage to the nerve which may lead to blindness within only a few years.
How do you avoid glaucoma?
Many who develop this disease have a family history however, just because a family member has glaucoma, does not mean you will develop it as well. Likewise, even if you do develop glaucoma, that does not mean that you will go blind. A healthy lifestyle, frequent check-up’s and treatment may help reduce symptoms and avoid blindness but you need to know what to watch for.
While the symptoms of early glaucoma can be difficult to see, there are things you need to watch for. A few of the more common symptoms of glaucoma are:
1. Redness in the eyes
2. Blurry vision
3. Poor night vision
4. Changes in vision
5. Headaches or dizziness
It is important to remember that the symptoms of glaucoma are not always easy to identify. The secret to early detection of this and many other diseases is with regular visits to an optometrist/ophthalmologist. Your eye doctor will perform specialized tests to look for symptoms including measuring intraocular pressure, testing for optic nerve damage and measuring the cornea thickness of your eye. Most of these tests are very simple however, others will require that your eye be numbed or dilated. As with most eye exams, it is important that you bring someone with you to drive you home after your exam.
Don’t assume your eyes are healthy, be sure with a trip to the eye doctor.
It is estimated that over 3 million American’s are already dealing with the symptoms of Glaucoma. If you have concerns about your vision or if it has just been a while since you visited an eye care specialist, stop putting it off. Conditions like glaucoma can have serious consequences however, if caught early, many can reduce the symptoms and maintain their sight for years to come. Take care of your eyes.
Alpine Eye Care is an eye care provider in Northern Michigan.