Glaucoma is an eye condition where the main nerve connected to the eye, or the optic nerve, becomes damaged. This can make your vision patchy and even lead to complete blindness without showing major signs or symptoms and these changes are irreversible. Early detection and regular eye exams are the only way to prevent glaucoma and promote your eye health.
Glaucoma does not typically have many symptoms at first which can make it tricky to spot. Some symptoms to watch for are worsening peripheral vision, blurred or distorted vision, eye pain, and headaches. Glaucoma can be detected through a dilated eye exam, which is completely painless. It is crucial for you to have regular eye appointments to promote your overall health and well-being. Glaucoma can affect anyone, however, those over the age of 60 are more susceptible. If you have a family history of glaucoma it is crucial to be vigilant about regular eye exams.
Glaucoma looks very different from person to person, so a doctor will need to assess each patient to determine the best course of action. Doctors will assess damage to the optic nerve, corneal thickness, and peripheral vision capabilities. There are three main treatment options for glaucoma: eye drops, laser treatment, and surgery. Eye drops help lower pressure on the eye which decreased damage to the optic nerve. Laser treatment helps create drainage which reliever intraocular pressure. Doctors may recommend surgery when eye drops or laser treatment do not help relieve your symptoms. The typical recovery time for surgery is around 3 to 6 weeks.
As you age, the risk of developing eye conditions increases. Routine screenings and doctor appointments aid in the early detection of these symptoms before they become an issue. Eye exams help screen for glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, and cognitive decline. Catching these conditions early will help you and your doctor assess your condition and discuss how to proceed early on. Furthermore, regular doctor visits will help promote your overall health and wellness while decreasing your risks of developing unknown conditions.
To learn more about glaucoma and the importance of eye exams check out these resources: The Importance of Yearly Eye Exams for Seniors