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Glaucoma – A Wide Spread Disease

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve – the nerve part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. The optic nerve is made up of many nerve fibers, like an electric cable containing numerous wires. When damage to the optic nerve fibers occurs, blind spots develop. These blind spots usually go undetected until the optic nerve is significantly damaged. If the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness results.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, especially for older people. But loss of sight from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment. Early detection and treatment are the keys to preventing optic nerve damage and blindness from glaucoma.

WHO IS AT RISK FOR GLAUCOMA

Your eye doctor considers many kinds of information to determine your risk developing the disease. According to the Academy of Ophthalmology, the most important risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Elevated eye pressure
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African or Hispanic ancestry
  • Farsightedness or nearsightedness
  • Past eye injuries
  • Thinner central corneal thickness
  • Systemic health problems, including diabetes, migraine headaches, and poor circulation

Your eye doctor will weigh all of these factors before deciding whether you need treatment for glaucoma, or whether you should be monitored closely as a glaucoma suspect. This means your risk of developing glaucoma is higher than normal, and you need to have regular examinations to detect the early signs of damage to the optic nerve.

EXPERIENCE ON THE LAKESHORE

Shoreline Vision’s doctors have vast experience in detecting and treating glaucoma. In addition, they are equipped with the latest tests that can detect glaucoma as early as possible. If you have a family history of glaucoma, see one of our doctors.

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