Our vision is among our most valuable resources as it helps us to learn and navigate the world around us. Even small changes in the way we see can have a very big impact on our lives. Many see their optometrist help manage nearsightedness or farsightedness and get the right prescription for glasses or contacts, but it is also important to have regular visits to the eye doctor to discover potential eye diseases including glaucoma.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve due to excessive pressure within the eye. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60. While getting older is a major factor in developing this eye disease, it can also happen to people much younger as well. It is never too early to be on the lookout for the signs of glaucoma.
Types of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is either classified as open-angle glaucoma or acute angle-closure glaucoma. In the early stages, you may not notice vision changes because they are subtle at first. Left untreated, more and more blind spots will appear in the affected individual’s field of vision. Tunnel vision may also occur. Those with acute angle-closure glaucoma may experience severe headaches, nausea, blurred vision, eye pain, and redness, and see halos near lights.
Glaucoma Causes and Risk Factors
Nearly everyone has some risk of glaucoma, but the chances of getting the eye disease are increased for:
- Those who are over 60
- Those who are of African, Hispanic, or Asian descent
- Those who have a family history of glaucoma
Some medical conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes can also increase a person’s likelihood of developing glaucoma. If you have a history of very poor vision, you may also have a higher risk than most.
Once glaucoma causes vision loss has occurred, it cannot be reversed. That is why it is so important to stay on top of it. Prevention is the best treatment, regular eye exams for everyone, regardless of vision history are vital for screening to identify the illness before vision loss is allowed to occur. Eye drops can be prescribed to help keep eye pressure under control. In some cases, surgery will be necessary.
Contact Our Optometrist for Eye Disease Treatment in Rogers and St. Michael, MN
If you are experiencing changes in your vision or if it has been a while since your last visit to the eye doctor, the optometry professionals at EyeWest Vision Clinic are ready to assist you. For more information or to schedule an appointment with our optometrist, call us today or book an appointment online.