Glaucoma has been called “the silent thief of sight.” It is a complicated disease of the optic nerve in which the nerve damage leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. There are several different types of glaucoma, two of the most common are primary open angle glaucoma and angle closure glaucoma. Glaucoma generally affects both eyes, although one may have more severe signs and symptoms than the other. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of preventable blindness in the country, even though there are effective treatments available.
Most people have no symptoms and no early warning signs. However, glaucoma can be diagnosed at an annual eye exam and treated so that it does not progress. At the Eye & Lasik Center, we specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of glaucoma. If you are concerned or think you may have glaucoma, here is a list of risk factors – things that raise the risk of developing glaucoma:
- Some illnesses: People with diabetes or hypothyroidism have a higher chance of developing glaucoma.
- Advanced age: People over the age of 60 are at higher risk.
- Myopia: People with myopia, also called nearsightedness, have a higher risk of glaucoma.
- Gender: Females are three times more likely to develop glaucoma as males.
- Eye injuries or conditions: Some eye injuries, especially severe ones, are linked to a higher glaucoma risk. Retinal detachment, eye inflammation and eye tumors can also cause glaucoma.
- Corticosteroid use: Patients on long-term corticosteroids have an elevated risk of developing several different conditions, including glaucoma. The risk is even greater with eyedrops containing corticosteroids.
Treating glaucoma involves improving the flow of fluid inside the eye, reducing its production, and sometimes both. Damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible; glaucoma cannot be cured but it can be managed. Regular eye exams and proper treatment can slow its progression and prevent further loss of sight.
Do you have concerns or questions about glaucoma: Call our office, today, to schedule an eye exam and stay on top of your eye health: (800) 676-5050.