Have you been noticing that it is challenging to use your peripheral vision in both eyes? Are you experiencing frequent and intense headaches and nausea?
These can be signs that you have or are developing glaucoma. Let’s learn about what glaucoma is and what the warning signs are.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is part of a family of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve. One of the keys to having good vision is having a healthy optic nerve.
If your optic nerve becomes damaged, it impacts your vision. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve because fluid builds up in the eye. This leads to higher than normal pressure in the eye.
Glaucoma is one of the main causes of blindness for adults that are sixty and older. It is possible for anyone to develop glaucoma, but it is more common for older adults to develop it.
Glaucoma can sneak up on you. In most cases, there are no warning signs or symptoms, so that is why it can surprise you and cause blindness. Also, some patients do not notice any changes to their vision until it is too late.
Once glaucoma starts impacting your vision, it is irreversible. That means that any vision loss because of glaucoma cannot be regained.
This is why it is important to get regular eye exams. During your exam, your doctor will measure your eye pressure.
Measuring your eye pressure regularly helps your doctor know what your normal levels are. If they notice any changes to your eye pressure, they can step in quickly.
This helps your doctor diagnose glaucoma early on and give you the correct treatment. Early diagnosis can mean avoiding further vision loss or preventing it altogether.
What are the Types of Glaucoma?
There are two main types of Glaucoma:
For this type of glaucoma, you will experience tunnel vision later on. You can develop blind spots in your peripheral or central vision. Open-angle glaucoma can develop in both eyes.
Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma:
If you develop this type of glaucoma, the symptoms are more noticeable. They may include strong headaches, eye pain, nausea, vomiting, red eyes, blurry vision, and halos around lights.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should book an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. If you do not treat it early on, it will cause blindness or vision loss.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Glaucoma?
Some risk factors to consider for glaucoma include the following:
- Being 60 years of age or older
- Having higher than normal eye pressure
- Being nearsighted or farsighted
- Having a family history of glaucoma
- Being of Hispanic, Asian or African American descent
- Having medical conditions like high blood pressure or heart disease
- Having small corneas in the center of the lens
- Having an eye injury or side effect from eye surgery
- Using steroid eye drops for an extended period of time
One way to decrease eye pressure is to exercise. If your doctor prescribes prescription eye drops, use them frequently.
Keep your eyes safe by wearing eye protection. Getting a serious eye injury can eventually cause glaucoma.
Are you worried that you might have glaucoma? You should see a doctor if the symptoms mentioned sound familiar. Schedule an appointment at South Texas Eye Institute in San Antonio, TX today!