Glaucoma is a very serious condition. The most common type of glaucoma has almost no symptoms, making it extraordinarily difficult to detect until vision has been lost.
Unlike other conditions such as cataracts, once you lose vision to glaucoma, it’s gone forever. However, the situation is not hopeless. Certain medications help slow the progression of glaucoma, which can significantly decrease the risk of blindness.
It’s also possible to reduce the likelihood of getting glaucoma by making changes to your lifestyle. As experts in glaucoma surgery in Shelton, we often receive a lot of questions from patients about glaucoma prevention. In order to understand the options available, however, we must first take a look at what glaucoma actually is.
Glaucoma causes you to lose sight by directly damaging the optic nerve, the part of your eye that links to your brain. Essentially, certain factors cause the fluid in your eye to build-up, greatly increasing your internal eye pressure until the optic nerve is harmed.
Glaucoma typically occurs when the drainage system in your eye becomes slowly blocked. This can happen because of scarring from eye injuries or genetic disposition. Sometimes flakes of pigment from your iris can even break off and get stuck in the canals, though this is a rare case. Glaucoma can also break its own rules and occur without an increase in internal eye pressure. This “normal-tension glaucoma” is largely a mystery and relatively uncommon.
Medications can help reduce eye pressure, but any damage that has been done is irreversible. People’s optic nerves also vary in strength, so a high internal eye pressure for you may be normal for someone else.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Glaucoma
Wear Protective Glasses
Wearing protective lenses while playing sports or working with power tools will help prevent traumatic glaucoma. As said earlier, scarring from eye injuries can increase eye pressure by blocking drainage canals. However, even injuries that don’t penetrate the eye can lead to traumatic or secondary glaucoma.
Blunt force to the eye such as getting punched or hit in the face with a ball can cause swelling and bruising. This can directly damage the drainage systems or cause internal bleeding which can clog up the drainage systems.
Exercise on a Regular Basis
Exercising regularly can, in addition to countless other health benefits, keep your internal eye pressure low. You don’t have to be at the gym for 3 hours every day, but if your heart rate is elevated at least 3 times a week, you can reduce your eye pressure and improve your overall health.
Schedule Routine Eye Exams
Regular checkups are absolutely crucial to avoid permanent eye damage from glaucoma. Early detection is by far the best way to prevent glaucoma from taking your sight, as well as prevent any number of eye problems. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma quickly enough, you can receive treatment in the form of medication or surgery before any noticeable harm has been done.
You should aim to have a checkup more often as you get older, as your risk for vision-related problems increases as you age. People under 40 should be getting a checkup every 2 to 4 years, but by the time they are 65, it should be once or twice every year.
Treatment for Glaucoma, Shelton NY
Seeking treatment for glaucoma in Shelton shouldn’t be difficult. At Pinke Eye Center, you’ll receive friendly customer service and helpful answers to your questions. We offer several forms of glaucoma treatment that can reduce your eye pressure and put your risk of permanent blindness on pause. Request an appointment for your glaucoma consultation today!