According to the American Glaucoma Association, about 3 million people in America have glaucoma, but half of them do not even know they have it. This is because there are no early signs of glaucoma, so by the time you notice anything, it may be too late. ClearView Eyecare, an optometrist in Bellingham, WA, lists what you need to know about glaucoma.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the name given to a number of vision conditions that cause blindness because of damage to the optic nerve.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Damage to the optic nerve is caused by too much fluid pressure in the eye. Just why this happens is not fully understood.
Is Glaucoma Curable?
There is no cure for glaucoma, but its progression can be slowed.
Why Should Hispanic People Be Especially Concerned About Glaucoma?
Although glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, it’s the number one cause of blindness among Hispanic individuals, according to the American Glaucoma Association. The reason for this is unknown.
Who Else Is at Risk for Glaucoma?
Asian and African Americans are also at a higher risk of glaucoma. Anyone over 60 years old is also at high risk. People who have certain eye conditions, such as extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness, eye injuries, corneas that are too thin, or have had certain types of eye surgery are also at higher risk. People are at high risk if they have health problems like sickle cell anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. Lastly, smoking puts you at a higher risk of developing glaucoma as well.
Early Signs of Glaucoma
The earliest signs of glaucoma are only detectable from an eye health exam from your eye doctor. Otherwise, you will not notice any vision changes until the condition is advanced. The first symptom will be dark patches at the peripheral or very edge of your vision.
Later Signs of Glaucoma
The dark patches get bigger, making you lose your peripheral vision and then the rest of your vision.
Treatment of Glaucoma
Glaucoma can be slowed down with medication in the form of pills and eye drops. There are some kinds of eye surgery that also help. Along with these treatments from an optometrist, patients should quit smoking and treat any medical conditions that can contribute to pressure build-up in the eyes.
Can Vision Loss from Glaucoma Be Restored?
Sadly, no. This is why eye health exams from your eye doctor are so important.
Your Optometrist in Bellingham and Northern Washington
If you’ve been searching for “optometry near me” online and have questions regarding glaucoma or other vision conditions, contact ClearView Eyecare at (360) 392-8306 to make an appointment for today. We proudly serve Bellingham and the Northern Washington, WA area.