What is it?

Glaucoma is an eye condition, typically occurring in older individuals. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States (#1 is macular degeneration).

How does it happen?

Glaucoma is usually the result of increased pressure in the eyes. When eye fluid does not circulate to the front of the eye properly, fluid can build up, causing the condition. It typically occurs in both eyes at the same time, though one eye maybe worse than the other.

Less common causes of glaucoma may be a severe eye infection or even an injury to the eye. Eye surgery may sometimes lead to the onset of glaucoma as well.

What are the symptoms?

Glaucoma typically develops without any symptoms for a while. Vision loss is the first noticeable symptom of the condition. Your peripheral vision will be the first to go, leading to tunnel vision, and eventually resulting in complete blindness in some cases.

In certain types of glaucoma, you may experience blurred vision, headaches, intense eye pain, and nausea/vomiting.

What are my risk factors?

Glaucoma can affect anyone, but the following groups of people are more likely to develop it:

  • Anyone with a family history of glaucoma
  • Anyone over the age of 60
  • African American women over the age of 40

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Your eye doctor may use a series of tests to check for glaucoma. These tests may include a visual acuity test, a dilated eye exam, or a test of the pressure inside your eye (tonometry).

Depending on the severity of your glaucoma, it may be treatable by different methods. These can include anything from eye drops to surgery.

How can I prevent it from happening?

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly may reduce your risk of developing glaucoma.

If you are experiencing similar symptoms to glaucoma, contact us today.

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