Glaucoma is an invisible condition that can progress for years without showing symptoms. However, early detection can stop the disease in its tracks, improving your prognosis and preserving your vision.
Modern medicine has helped millions of people maintain their sight. With an early diagnosis, you can keep glaucoma under control.
It is impossible to diagnose glaucoma without an eye exam. This is why regular exams are essential, especially for those at risk for glaucoma.
Shoreline Vision provides both routine eye care and treatment for glaucoma. These two things often go hand in hand, and our team understands the importance of diagnosing glaucoma early.
If you are getting older, have a family history of glaucoma, or already have a diagnosis, our team can assess your vision and offer treatment. Keep reading to find out more about glaucoma.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
The challenging part about diagnosing glaucoma is that it has very few symptoms. For many people, they develop a form of glaucoma called open-angle glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma progresses slowly over time, meaning many patients do not realize they have it until they have already experienced vision loss.
Glaucoma is caused by a buildup of intraocular pressure (IOP) within the eye, damaging the optic nerve. Your optic nerve is a collection of nerve fibers that send images back to the brain. Over time, damage to these fibers can lead to patchy vision, blind spots, and even tunnel vision.
By the time you begin noticing changes to your sight, your optic nerve has already been affected. Vision loss caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed, which means early detection of glaucoma is vital.
The Importance of Regular Eye Exams
Routine eye exams are your best defense against glaucoma. If left unchecked, the intraocular pressure within your eye will continue to rise, damaging your vision in the process.
Luckily, glaucoma is one of the first things ophthalmologists look for during routine visits, especially if you are at risk for developing it.
Risk factors for glaucoma include:
- If you are 60 years of age or older
- Family history
- Use of corticosteroids
- High blood pressure
Family history and race play a large part in your likelihood of developing glaucoma. Patients from black, Hispanic, and Asian families should schedule regular eye exams after turning 40.
Spending time outside without sunglasses also increases your risk of glaucoma since exposure to UV rays can damage your eyes and leave them vulnerable. While eye exams might not seem important when you are young, you should begin building a rapport with your eye doctor as you get older.
This will help establish a patient history and monitor the health of your eyes.
It is easier to make appointments, discuss issues, and accept advice from a doctor that you already know and trust.
At Shoreline Vision, our team consists of optometrists, ophthalmologists, and specialists. Whether you are coming in for a routine exam, glaucoma treatment, or contact lenses, we have an expert who is ready to help.
We provide many treatments for those with glaucoma, such as:
- Prescription eye drops
- Laser surgery
- Drainage devices
Your treatment plan might vary depending on your condition. Your ophthalmologist will go over your options and help you find a solution that works.