The Importance of Glaucoma Testing as You Age

Did you know glaucoma is a very common condition in America? Millions of people develop glaucoma throughout their lifetimes, and left untreated, may lose their vision completely. Glaucoma happens when the pressure behind the eye increases to the point where it damages the optic nerve. There is no known cure for glaucoma, but if your vision specialist catches it early on, treatment can help prevent total blindness. Those over age 40 should have regular vision exams to help catch the onset of glaucoma before irreparable damage occurs.

What Causes Glaucoma?

It’s unclear exactly why some people develop glaucoma and others do not. Scientists do know that genetics plays a role. This means if others in your family suffer from glaucoma, your chances of developing it increase. Glaucoma is also linked to other chronic diseases, such as diabetes. As you age, it’s more important than ever to be tested for glaucoma annually.

Is Glaucoma Painful?

The symptoms of glaucoma may be completely painless, which is why many fail to recognize the signs before it’s too late. Symptoms include:

  • Blind spots in your central vision
  • Blind spots in your peripheral vision
  • Narrowing tunnel vision

Other signs of glaucoma may become increasingly painful as the disease progresses. These include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Halos or auras around lights

If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms of glaucoma, especially if you’re older, see your vision specialist right away. Glaucoma is the number one cause of blindness in individuals over the age of 60. By receiving an early diagnosis, you can begin treatments to help prevent the condition from worsening.

What is the Treatment for Glaucoma?

Treatment for glaucoma includes medication, laser procedures, eye drops, exercises, and surgery. The object is to reduce the amount of pressure in the eye by removing excess fluid. If you have glaucoma, you may need treatment for the rest of your life to halt its progression.

In Riverdale, NJ, contact Riverdale Vision Care for glaucoma screening and treatment. Prevention is the key to preserving the vision you have left. Call today for an initial consultation and treatment recommendations.