What You Need to Know about Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of irreversible blindness globally. In the United States alone, glaucoma affects more than 3 million people. Worldwide, 6 million people are blind in both eyes due to this condition. There are some facts you might not know about glaucoma, but they’re important, because understanding glaucoma may help protect you from the disease.

  • Glaucoma often has no symptoms. The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma, which typically doesn’t have symptoms. Because vision loss begins with peripheral or side vision, you might subconsciously compensate by turning your head, while not realizing something is wrong.
  • This condition can strike at any age, though it’s more common in the elderly. Because it’s common in elderly people, it’s often assumed that younger people don’t need to be concerned about it. In truth, babies can be born with glaucoma, and young adults can also develop this condition. Young African Americans are particularly susceptible to glaucoma.
  • While it’s often caused by high ocular pressure, glaucoma can occur with normal pressure as well. Because optic nerve damage is connected to high ocular pressure, many people assume that pressure causes glaucoma. In fact, it’s not a cause, it’s just a risk factor.
  • Some forms of glaucoma are inherited, but it’s not necessarily genetic. Other risk factors for developing glaucoma include being nearsighted or having certain medical conditions, like diabetes.
  • There’s no cure, but the progression of the disease can be slowed with treatment. Treatment options for glaucoma include eye drops, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of some of these methods. Although vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible, catching it early will make the treatment more effective in preventing blindness. Caught early enough, glaucoma is manageable.
  • The best hope for someone with glaucoma is to catch it in the early stages to prevent blindness. Early diagnosis of conditions like glaucoma is important because it allows doctors to slow the progression of these diseases.

Early detection of glaucoma is just one good reason to have regular eye exams. If you need an eye exam and are looking for a reliable eye doctor in Derry, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating over thirty years of eye care, we proudly serve patients in Derry, Londonderry and Windham, providing personalized eye care using top-of-the-line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

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