While Glaucoma is a very common eye condition that people are aware of, many are unaware of how it works and the seriousness of the condition. It’s important to understand this group of eye diseases and what you should do in order to protect your eyesight from long-term damage.
Glaucoma actually refers to a group of several eye disorders
Glaucoma is not a single disease but is actually a group of eye disorders that rob the patient of their sight gradually over time. Most forms of glaucoma are caused by excess pressure around the optic nerve, but there are some cases that result even when pressure levels inside the eye are normal. The two most common types of glaucoma are known as primary open-angle glaucoma and narrow-angle glaucoma.
Anyone can be affected by glaucoma
It’s important to note that everyone is potentially at risk for glaucoma, but there are certain populations who exhibit many higher risk factors that increase their likelihood. Older people, especially those over 60, are most at risk. Additionally, if you have a family history of glaucoma or have previously suffered an eye injury, you may be at greater risk. African-Americans and Latinos are also more likely than Caucasians to contact open-angle glaucoma, especially as they get older.
Glaucoma patients can exhibit no symptoms in the early stages
The main reason why glaucoma is so dangerous is because patients typically show no sign of symptoms in the early stages of the disease. They may not even notice until it has progressed significantly, therefore limiting the options for treatment. Once parts of the vision have been lost they cannot be recovered, which is why early detection of glaucoma is paramount to successful treatment.
Glaucoma can cause total blindness
Most forms of glaucoma begin with the loss of peripheral vision and slowly erode the entire field of vision over time. If the condition progresses far enough it can potentially cause total blindness. Glaucoma is actually the second leading cause of blindness among Americans.
There are measures you can take to protect your eye health from the effects of glaucoma
Glaucoma is a serious condition, but there are treatments available that can help mitigate its effects. The types of treatment available depend on the specific type of glaucoma and the severity, but they can include eye drops, surgeries, stents, or laser treatments.
Early detection is critical when treating glaucoma, which is why professionals recommend regular eye exams so that you can stay ahead of its progression. If you are ready to discuss treatment options or have questions about glaucoma, schedule an appointment at one of Florida Eye Specialists’ seven convenient locations in the Jacksonville area today. Florida Eye Specialists is home to the region’s largest glaucoma center, staffed by world-class specialists including Dr. Kathryn Freidl, Dr. Kenzo Koike, and Dr. Rajesh Shetty. They are committed to providing the best quality glaucoma treatments to help patients protect their vision as much as possible.