Get the Facts about Glaucoma

by | Aug 11, 2017

After recent storms, people wondered why such a strong and damaging weather system came without warning. Amazingly, with all the technology available, the extent of the storm was not predictable. Glaucoma is like that. For most people, it arrives unannounced, with no early symptoms or pain. The only way to catch and diagnose it is through regular eye exams. Skip them, and this condition that damages your eye’s optic nerve can lead to devastating results, including permanent vision loss and eventual blindness. How at risk are you?

Glaucoma can be an inherited disease, so if others in your family have it, you are more prone to have it as well. It is also associated with diabetes, as well as high blood pressure, and aging. However, even if you don’t fall into these higher risk categories, it’s important to have your eyes checked for glaucoma to avoid any possibility of this progressive disease. Although less common, eye injuries, infections, and blocked blood vessels can cause glaucoma as well – don’t take the risk!

Testing for Glaucoma is part of your regular eye exam, and is quick and painless. Drops are put in your eyes to check your intraocular pressure and dilate pupils to observe your optic nerve. With glaucoma, fluid pressure may build up and cause damage to the optic nerve. These changes can only be spotted by a trained ophthalmologist. If you wait to get your eyes examined until vision is impaired or you start seeing halos around lights, the disease has already caused damage and any vision lost cannot be recovered. However, prompt treatment can stop the progression. Treatment typically involves a simple regimen of eye drops, but in some cases, surgical correction may be needed to increase fluid reabsorption back into the bloodstream to lower pressure.

Detecting glaucoma before it begins to silently steal away your vision is best in order to avoid any partial or complete vision loss, so be sure to schedule a regular eye exam, mark your calendar, and don’t miss it! Contact our Zeeland, MI office by dialing (616) 772-2020 or by using our online contact form.