Did you know that Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States? Well, it is. If left undiagnosed and untreated, Glaucoma can and does lead to total blindness. The key to maintaining your sight is early detection.
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye characterized by elevated pressure inside the eye and sometimes other factors that cause the fibers running through the optic nerve to slowly deteriorate. The optic nerve is the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. While glaucoma initially causes no symptoms, it eventually progresses to a subtle loss of side vision (peripheral vision).
The key to catching Glaucoma early is to be able to identify the symptoms. Currently, the disease affects over 3 million Americans, but only half actually know it. This article from eHow.com explains how you can better your chances of catching Glaucoma early enough to fully treat.
1. The main symptom is a gradual loss in vision. The peripheral vision is usually the first to go, making it increasingly difficult to see things from a side view. It may appear as though you are looking through a tunnel. You may still be able to see objects right in front of you, but if the glaucoma is not treated you could lose your eyesight altogether.
2. Find out if you are in any of the high-risk groups. You are more likely to develop Glaucoma if…
• You are 60+
• You have a family history of Glaucoma
• You are of African American or Spanish ancestry
• You have elevated eye pressure
• You have high myopia (nearsightedness)
• You have had past eye injuries
• You have used steroids
• You have Diabetes, Hypertension or Migrains
3. If you are having symptoms or are at risk, have your eyes checked as soon as possible. Early detection can prevent vision loss from glaucoma. People who are at risk should have a dilated eye exam at least once every two years.
If you think you may be at risk, schedule an eye appointment as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here today!