Who is at Risk For Glaucoma?

Regardless of your vision history or any other special circumstances, it is typically advisable to have an eye test once annually. Even though there may not be any noticeable underlying issues, an annual eye exam will give your optometrist the opportunity to notice any potential problems that might not be readily apparent. This is particularly true in regards to glaucoma, the symptoms of which can be difficult to notice in the early stages.


What Is Glaucoma?

More than 64 million people live with glaucoma, a condition that affects the retina and optic nerve. Eventually, this condition results in irreversible blindness. While there is not yet a cure for glaucoma, there are steps that can be taken to keep the condition from growing worse. Among those steps are glaucoma tests.


The American Optometric Association advises individuals between the ages of 18 and 60 receive an examination once every two years. Persons who are at increased risk should have exams once annually.


Who Is at Risk for Glaucoma?

Individuals who are at risk for glaucoma include anyone who has or who has a family history of high blood pressure and/or diabetes as well as anyone age 60 or older. Anyone who has been diagnosed as having sleep apnea could also be at risk for glaucoma.


What Is Involved in a Glaucoma Test?

Regular eye exams are among the single best ways to identify the symptoms of glaucoma early on, providing the opportunity to prevent the condition from growing worse. During a glaucoma exam, you will undergo a series of tests to determine possible sight loss as well as examine the condition of the optic nerve. Glaucoma tests also evaluate pressure within the eyes. This is important as this condition results in fluid building up inside the eye, which also causes a build-up of pressure. When left untreated, this build-up can result in permanent loss of vision.


The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. This form of the condition causes eye pressure to increase; however, there are typically no symptoms during the onset of the condition. Consequently, approximately half of individuals with glaucoma never even know they have it. Regular eye exams remain the best way to spot this condition as early as possible and preserve your vision. Contact us today for more information.

3 Reasons to Get Your Glaucoma Test

Glaucoma is a nerve degeneration that causes the central nerve connected from the eye to the brain to be damaged. Glaucoma tests can help to detect nerve degeneration before it is too advanced. If a person with glaucoma does not get help from a doctor, eventually it will advance to a stage where they won’t be able to see properly. Glaucoma can be detected early with a simple test at the eye doctor’s office. Here are three good reasons why you should your glaucoma test.

Glaucoma Doesn’t Exhibit Symptoms Until It’s Advanced

Glaucoma usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until it’s in its advanced stage. So, even if you don’t have any symptoms, you could have developing glaucoma. You shouldn’t wait until you have symptoms before getting a glaucoma test, because you may never have symptoms at all and then end up with irreversible damage to your eyesight.

Glaucoma Tests Are Quick And Pain-Free

Glaucoma tests are quick and don’t involve any pain. One of the tests is to simply take a look at the main optic nerve in the eye. An optometrist can conduct this vision test to check for visible damage. Another test measures eye pressure and is also non-invasive. You will experience a sensation of a puff of air to the eye, but it is completely painless.

Getting Tested Early Can Halt The Development Of Glaucoma

Like any chronic disease, getting help early before permanent damage sets in is of the essence. Thankfully, glaucoma is stoppable. There are effective treatments available to halt the disease. Depending upon the severity of glaucoma, your situation may be improved by making different lifestyle choices. Isn’t it worth getting a glaucoma test that can help prevent vision damage or even blindness, when you might just have to make small changes in your lifestyle?

Glaucoma can be detected early and the test is fast, simple, non-invasive, and painless. Even if glaucoma is detected, with available treatments in place, you may be able to continue a life with normal vision—as long as the glaucoma is detected in its early stages. Ask your eye doctor about getting a glaucoma test every time you visit your optometrist.


What You Need to Know about Glaucoma

Did you know that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60? Mayo Clinic reports that while it can occur at any age, it’s more common in older adults. Glaucoma is often an inherited condition. This is one vision problem you should never overlook.

What causes glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the result of deterioration of the optic nerve. This leads to a buildup of a fluid called aqueous humor, which puts pressure on the front part of the eye. Normally this internal fluid that flows throughout the eye drains out through a mesh-like tissue where the iris and cornea meet. When the aqueous humor fluid gets blocked or can’t drain at its normal rate, eye pressure increases.

While the reason for this blockage is not currently known, scientists have identified genes related to high eye pressure and optic nerve damage. People over age 40 who have a family history of glaucoma should get a complete eye exam every one to two years.

Understanding the two most common types of glaucoma

The two main kinds of glaucoma include:

Open-angle glaucoma: The most common form of the disease, it’s also called wide-angle glaucoma. The drain structure in the eye, called the trabecular meshwork, appears normal, but fluid is partially blocked and doesn’t flow freely like it should.

Angle-closure glaucoma: Also called closed-angle glaucoma, this occurs when a bulging iris narrows or blocks the drainage angle where the cornea and iris come together. This prevents the fluid from circulating through the eye, and pressure increases. Angle-closure glaucoma may occur gradually (chronic) or suddenly (acute). Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Some forms of glaucoma have no warning signs, and the effect is so gradual that a person might not even notice a change in vision until the condition is advanced. However, open-angle glaucoma often presents as:

  • Blotchy blind spots in peripheral or central vision, often in both eyes.
  • Tunnel vision when it’s in the progressed stages.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma’s symptoms include:

  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye redness

It’s important to seek treatment at an emergency room or your ophthalmologist’s office if you experience the symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma.

Remember: Most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain. Vision loss due to the condition can’t be recovered, but the disease can be controlled with early detection and treatment. To schedule a checkup, please contact us today.