Glaucoma is a fairly serious eye condition that if left untreated, can lead to permanent vision loss or even blindness. And surprisingly, many people in the United States are unfamiliar with glaucoma.
A lack of awareness prevents many people from seeking the treatment they need for glaucoma. Here are five things you should know about the disease:
1. Glaucoma damages your optic nerve
Glaucoma cause fluid to build up and form pressure around the optic nerve. It carries visual information to your brain so when it is damaged, vision loss occurs.
2. There are usually no symptoms
One of the scariest things about glaucoma is that there are usually no symptoms. This means many patients go for years without ever realizing there is a problem.
The only way to definitively know if you have glaucoma is through a dilated eye test. So make sure you schedule those yearly eye exams!
3. Glaucoma is a common vision problem
Nearly three million Americans are living with glaucoma but roughly half of them have no idea that they have it. And unfortunately, anyone can develop it.
It is more common in individuals over the age of 45 and certain groups are more at risk but anyone can develop the disease.
4. Any lost vision can never be restored
Once you receive a diagnosis, your doctor can treat the symptoms to stop or slow the progression. But you can’t regain any vision that has already been lost to glaucoma.
5. There are several treatment options
If you have recently been diagnosed with glaucoma, all hope is not lost! There are several treatment options available for glaucoma patients.
There are eye drops available that aim to help control the pressure in your eyes. And if the eye drops aren’t enough on their own, your doctor may prescribe medication to help minimize the pressure on your optic nerve.
And you can also talk to your doctor about the different surgical options available.
Ultimately, the best way to prevent glaucoma is with early detection and treatment. If you are overdue for your dilated eye exam, schedule your appointment with one of our doctors today.