Does glaucoma run in your family? Are you worried that you may have glaucoma and won’t realize it until it’s too late?
Glaucoma is often referred to as the silent thief of sight for a reason. Often a person won’t realize that they have the disease until they’ve already suffered irreversible vision loss.
You can help keep your eyes healthy by getting regular eye exams and by being aware of the early signs of glaucoma. Keep reading to find out if there are any glaucoma warning signs!
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to irreversible damage to your vision if left untreated. With this condition, the optic nerve becomes damaged due to increased pressure inside your eye.
This pressure happens because the natural fluid in your eye is unable to drain properly and becomes clogged over time. This damage results in loss of vision.
Glaucoma can be something that’s passed down through families, but you should get your eyes checked even if you don’t have a family history of it.
Early Signs And Types
Glaucoma can cause you to see blind spots or have slightly blurry vision. You may notice that you’ve lost your peripheral vision or that your peripheral vision seems darker or faded.
You might find that you need more light to see clearly but then experience glare and halos around those same bright lights. Colors may not look right, almost as though you are looking at the world through dirty glasses.
It’s possible that you may see clearly out of one eye but everything looks different through the other eye. It’s also possible that you may not experience any symptoms until you’ve lost a significant amount of your vision. This is why it’s important to get your eyes examined regularly.
There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and acute angle-closure glaucoma. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is also known as narrow-angle glaucoma.
With open-angle glaucoma, you may not experience any signs or symptoms until the disease is advanced. This type of glaucoma can develop slowly over time.
With acute angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms can progress quickly resulting in blurry vision, severe eye pain, vomiting, and sudden vision loss. Symptoms are very noticeable and damage to the optic nerve can happen quickly.
Once you’ve lost vision from glaucoma, it’s irreversible. If you undergo treatment, it will not restore the vision you’ve already lost.
But you can stop the disease from progressing if it’s caught in time. Your eye doctor can manage the condition by reducing and maintaining the amount of pressure in your eye.
During your eye exam, your eye doctor will check your eyes. They’ll check for pressure, drainage for your optic nerve, cornea thickness, and your peripheral vision.
There are medications to treat glaucoma depending upon how advanced the disease is.
Oral prescriptions can help improve how the optic nerve functions. Prescription eye drops may help regulate pressure in the eye.
If medications aren’t working to reduce eye pressure, your ophthalmologist may try laser surgery. This helps by draining the fluid from the eye and releasing the pressure on the optic nerve.
This may sound a bit overwhelming and scary, especially if you are concerned that you may have this disease or may get it. It doesn’t need to be a cause for concern as long as you are getting regular eye exams.
Can’t remember when your last eye exam was? Schedule an appointment at Levin Eyecare in Baltimore, MD, today!