Vow to Keep an Eye Out for Glaucoma in 2022
Most diseases in the human body start to present symptoms before any real damage occurs. Not so with glaucoma. In its early stages glaucoma presents few, if any, symptoms. By the time the person notices any problems, irreversible vision loss has already occurred. That’s why glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over age 60.
Our experienced ophthalmologists and optometrists at our three Central Valley Eye Medical Group locations can spot the early signs of glaucoma and successfully help you get a handle on this dangerous disease before it causes permanent vision loss. But we need to see you for your regular eye exams to do so.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases involving fluid in the eye and an increase in pressure. In a normal eye, fluid exits the eye in a continuing stream. But when a person has glaucoma, the fluid is blocked from exiting and this causes pressure to build in the eye. Over time, this pressure damages the optic nerve. It is especially dangerous because most forms of glaucoma don’t exhibit any warning signs or symptoms until the patient already has permanent vision damage.
Who is at risk for getting glaucoma?
Anyone can develop glaucoma, but certain factors increase a person’s risk:
- Having high intraocular pressure
- Being over age 60
- Being African American, Asian, or Hispanic
- Having a family history of glaucoma
- Having other medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or sickle cell anemia
- Having corneas that are thin in the center
- Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
- Having had an eye injury
- Having had certain types of eye surgery
- Long-time use of corticosteroid medications, particularly eye drops
What causes glaucoma?
The interior of our eyes is filled with fluid, known as aqueous humor. When your eye is normal, this fluid flows through the eye and exits through an area of tissue known as the trabecular meshwork. This is located where the iris and the cornea meet.
If a person has glaucoma, the trabecular meshwork develops a blockage or other damage, or the person’s eye produces too much aqueous humor. This causes pressure to build inside the eye. If it stays elevated, this pressure begins to damage the optic nerve. This deterioration will begin to show itself as the patient will notice blind spots in his or her visual field. This damage is permanent.
The key is to manage glaucoma, as there isn’t a cure. Our team at Central Valley can help you do that. That’s why it’s important as you get older to see us for your regular eye exams. That’s the time we can see if the pressure inside your eyes is elevating or is normal.
Now that we’re heading into a New Year, this is a great time to schedule your next eye exam at our Stockton, Manteca, or Modesto Central Valley Eye Medical Group locations. Call us at (800) 244-9907 to schedule your appointment.
Posted in: Glaucoma