There is so much to do: so much to see. Glaucoma can put a real damper on your plans…if you let it. And the only way to accurately screen for glaucoma is with regular eye exams. So, when was your last eye exam?
“Studies show that at least half of all persons with glaucoma don’t know they have this potentially blinding eye disease,” said Dr. Paul Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute (NEI). “The good news is that glaucoma can be detected in its early stages through a comprehensive dilated eye exam.”
This is why January has been named Glaucoma Awareness Month.
What is Glaucoma?
The term glaucoma actually refers to a group of different conditions that lead to increased intraocular pressure (IOP) and damage the optic nerve, which carries visual signals to the brain.
Click Here to learn more about the different types of glaucoma.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma?
Glaucoma presents without initial signs and symptoms. Because of this, a person can lose as much as 40% of their vision before even noticing. This is also why it is estimated that only half of the 2.2 Americans with glaucoma know they have it.
Who is at Risk for Glaucoma?
What you want to know is “Am I at risk?” The simple answer is yes. Everyone is at risk for glaucoma. However, people at a higher risk include African Americans age 40 and older, anyone over the age of 60, and those with a family history of glaucoma.
How Often Should I be screened for Glaucoma?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that people between the ages of three and 39 should have their eyes examined every couple of years. At the age of 40, everyone should have a baseline eye disease screening. Based on the results of the initial screening, an ophthalmologist will prescribe the necessary intervals for follow-up exams.
Seniors – over the age of 65 – should have complete eye exams every one to two years.
During your eye exam your doctor will inspect your eyes for glaucoma, as well as other conditions that could lead to vision loss. One way your eye doctor accomplishes this is with what is known as the Visual Field Test, often referred to as the “clicky test.” Click Here to learn more.
If you have any questions about Glaucoma or wish to schedule an appointment with Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC), please contact Board Certified Ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Kathryn Gurganus Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010 or Click Here to fill out our contact form.
AAEC is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Dr. Boles and his staff have helped preserve thousands of patients’ vision. They can help you too. Staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals, AAEC’s state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.