Who Is At Risk For Glaucoma?
Do you or a loved one worry about getting glaucoma? Have you wondered if you might be at risk, and if so, what should you watch for?
Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma and find out who is at risk for it!
What Is Glaucoma?
Do you sometimes notice a dark spot when trying to focus on something? When you stare at a light, do you see bright circles, or halos, around it? These could be signs of glaucoma.
Glaucoma occurs when a buildup of fluid in your eye is unable to drain correctly. It builds up in your eye and places pressure on your optic nerve.
Your optic nerve sends light signals to your brain for image interpretation. When your optic nerve gets damaged, it can no longer send these signals, and vision loss occurs.
Glaucoma, or the silent thief of sight, often goes unnoticed until irreversible damage to your eye has occurred. But, if you catch it early, your eye doctor can prescribe a preventative treatment to protect your vision.
Does Glaucoma Have Symptoms?
Generally, glaucoma does not have any symptoms. But, as it progresses, it can begin to impair your vision.
If it gets to this point, you likely have permanent vision loss. But it is good to pay attention to any vision issues you are having because detection is the only way to prevent vision loss.
When you have glaucoma, your vision may seem blurry, and you may need more light to see objects clearly. People with glaucoma say that it’s like looking at the world through dirty glasses. Images and colors don’t look like they should.
With glaucoma, your peripheral vision may appear darker or faded. When you look sideways without moving your head, the corners of your sight may seem fuzzy.
It may be hard to see what’s there. This is a side effect of the pressure buildup inside your eye.
It’s possible to have glaucoma in only one eye, and when you cover that eye, everything appears normal. You may even think that this is fine and that you can cope with only one eye. But, over time, this can make it very difficult to do simple everyday activities.
Am I At Risk?
If someone in your family has or has had glaucoma, you may have a greater chance of getting the disease as well. Because glaucoma is often inherited, your eye doctor needs to know your family history.
However, you can also get glaucoma even if no one in your family has had it. This is why it’s essential to get regular eye checkups and discuss any concerns with your eye doctor.
Also, certain factors can significantly increase your risk. Having diabetes can affect how your body can heal itself, especially if the diabetes is not controlled. Diabetes can affect your eyesight and, if left untreated, can lead to glaucoma or other serious eye diseases.
Using corticosteroids for a long time can affect your body’s immune system, which makes it easier for glaucoma to develop. Long-term use of these medications can result in fluid buildup in the eye and lead to glaucoma.
Not protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays can also damage your eyesight and possibly lead to glaucoma. Always protect your eyes while outside, whether it’s sunny or cloudy.
What Does Treatment Look Like?
Depending upon how advanced it is, glaucoma is treatable with medication. Prescription eye drops can regulate pressure in the eye, and laser surgery can help increase fluid flow out of your eye.
Before prescribing treatment, your doctor will perform a thorough eye exam.
Are you worried that you may have glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at Pinke Eye Center in Shelton, CT, to have an eye exam!