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Watch Out For Early Signs Of Glaucoma

Glaucoma treatment at South Texas Eye Institute in San Antonio is one of the most significant ways we help our patients preserve their vision.

Glaucoma is one of the reasons we suggest that you have a comprehensive dilated eye exam annually, especially if you are over the age of 60. If you have any risk factors for glaucoma, we suggest annual check-ups after age 40. Glaucoma is a serious disease and if left untreated can steal your vision.

That’s why it is vital that you watch out for early signs and get screened for glaucoma as soon as possible.

What Is Glaucoma?

Let’s start out with some basic facts. Glaucoma is an eye disease of the optic nerve. This light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye connects the retina to the brain. When the pressure inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure, becomes too high, it can negatively affect the optic nerve. We need a healthy optic nerve to see.

Although increased eye pressure is a early sign, not everyone with a higher eye pressure will develop glaucoma.

There are several types of glaucoma, but all lead to loss of vision unless diagnosed early and treated. Both open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma are vision threatening diseases and must be carefully screened, diagnosed and treated.

Telltale Signs Of Glaucoma

Unfortunately early signs of glaucoma are very subtle to virtually non-existent. That’s one of the reasons we encourage everyone to have an annual eye exam to detect glaucoma.

Glaucoma begins as a subtle loss of peripheral vision. A visual field test is a good way to measure how well a patient sees on the periphery. Most patients do not notice these blind spots and tend to turn their heads, ignoring the symptom.

Once this loss of vision becomes noticeable, damage has already occured. The only way to preserve your vision is through glaucoma treatment.

Sometimes patients will experience serious signs of an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack. If you experience a combination of these symptoms, see an ophthalmologist immediately.

  • Blurred vision
  • Halos
  • Headache
  • Eye pain
  • Red eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting

Risk Factors For Glaucoma

Because the symptoms are so subtle, it is important to know if you have any of the typical risk factors for this disease. If you have even more than one, you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam.

Once your ophthalmologist has thoroughly examined your eyes and optic nerve, they have a baseline from which to determine if glaucoma is present. Each successive exam will determine if and how it is progressing.

If you fall into any of these risk factor groups, take immediate action:

You are of African American or Hispanic descent and over the age of 40.

There is a family history of glaucoma.

You have had an eye injury.

You have diabetes or issues with poor circulation.

You have high eye pressure.

It has been found that patients with high risk factors can be treated with drops. This has decreased the risk of developing glaucoma by half.

Take No Chances

The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can begin glaucoma treatment and preserve your vision.

Contact South Texas Eye Institute for all your visual needs.