Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults over age 60. Most cases are caused by a buildup of pressure in the eye when fluid is not able to drain properly. This pressure can build slowly or rise very quickly and can cause issues such as blurry vision, severe eye pain, headache, nausea, vomiting or the appearance of rainbow-colored rings around lights. At this time, there is no way to reverse vision damage caused by glaucoma. But there are ways to help prevent further damage from occurring.
Know Who is Most at Risk of Glaucoma
While anyone can develop glaucoma, there are some factors that tend to increase the risk, including:
- Age – the older you get, the higher the risk of developing glaucoma, especially after age 60
- Race – with higher risk being associated with those who are Black, Asian or Hispanic
- Family history of glaucoma
- Having high internal eye pressure
- If you have diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, heart disease or sickle cell anemia
- If you have corneas that are thin in the center
- If you are very nearsighted or farsighted
- If you have previously had an eye injury or eye surgery
- If you use long-term steroid medications, especially as eyedrops
People with one or more of these risk factors should be diligent about following up regularly with their eye doctor for observation and care.
Get Regular Vision Exams
The only way to diagnose glaucoma with certainty is with a comprehensive vision exam. Some forms of this eye disease can cause blindness if not treated quickly, but symptoms are often not apparent until the damage is severe and your vision has already been compromised. This is why regular eye exams are so important, as they can detect signs of glaucoma that would otherwise go unnoticed.
During a glaucoma assessment, we will measure your eye pressure, examine your optic nerve for abnormalities, inspect your eye’s drainage angle, measure the thickness of your cornea and test your peripheral vision. All of these factors are used to determine the presence of or likelihood of developing glaucoma.
Treat Symptoms as Early as Possible
Glaucoma damage is permanent and cannot be reversed. But there are a number of options that can help prevent further damage from occurring. Typically, it is treated with medicated eye drops that lower eye pressure. Other options include in-office laser surgery which can be effective in helping drain fluid from the eye, or surgery performed in an operating room which creates a new drainage channel for fluid to exit the eye.
The earlier glaucoma is diagnosed, the more effective treatment options are available. Schedule your appointment today at Family Vision Development Center by calling 620-962-2020.
Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear. We are dedicated to keeping our patients comfortable and well-informed and we will explain every exam and procedure and answer all of your questions. We accept both scheduled and emergency appointments, and offer convenient financing and insurance options to ensure that high-quality vision care is available and affordable to all of our patients.