Glaucoma is one of the biggest causes of long-term vision loss in the world yet most people know very little about it. They often don’t understand how serious it can be and are unfamiliar with some of the signs and symptoms of glaucoma.
Glaucoma causes fluid to build up which increases the internal pressure on the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve, resulting in permanent vision loss. The most common type of glaucoma causes almost no symptoms other than vision loss.
Here are four surprising facts you may not know about glaucoma:
- Glaucoma affects people of all ages (even babies!)
Glaucoma is most commonly found in adults over the age of 60 but it can affect anyone. Even babies can be born with glaucoma and young adults can develop glaucoma as well.
- Glaucoma is virtually symptom-free
Many people mistakenly believe that should they develop glaucoma, they would notice the symptoms before any major vision loss occurred. What makes glaucoma so insidious is that the most common type, open-angle glaucoma, develops practically symptom-free. And once you lose your vision to glaucoma it cannot be recovered.
- There is no cure for glaucoma
There are treatments for glaucoma but at this point, there is no cure. Eye drops and surgery can help manage the symptoms, but early detection before major vision loss occurs is the best remedy.
- A family history of glaucoma increases your own risk
If you have a family history of glaucoma you are at higher risk of developing the disease yourself. You should check with your parents and grandparents to find out if there is any history of glaucoma in your family. Often patients are unaware that they have a family history.
If you have been recently diagnosed with glaucoma, we know how overwhelming it can feel. Early detection and treatment are the best tools to help you manage the symptoms of your glaucoma and preserve your vision. For more information on managing your glaucoma or to schedule a comprehensive vision exam with one of our doctors, contact our office today.