Glaucoma affects 60 million people worldwide, including 2.2 million Americans. Glaucoma is an eye condition – or more accurately a group of eye conditions – that stems from elevated eye pressure and damage the optic nerve.
Elevated Eye Pressure DOES NOT Always Lead to Glaucoma
Eye pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and normal eye pressure falls between 12 and 21 mm Hg. Anything above 21 is considered elevated. However, elevated eye pressure does not always mean an individual will develop glaucoma. Currently, 4-7% of the United States population over the age of 40 has ocular hypertension, which is the presence of increased eye pressure without optic nerve damage. This is also what we mean by the term Glaucoma Suspect – someone who has signs of glaucoma, like increased IOP, but lacks others, like optic nerve damage or a visual field defect.
“It’s like all of the players are on the field, but the game has not started,” explains April Pevear, a Patient Care Specialist at Anne Arundel Eye Center.
Individuals diagnosed with elevated eye pressure should have regular comprehensive eye examinations to check for signs of glaucoma. While glaucoma may not have yet developed, elevated eye pressure increases the risk of future development and means the individual will need to more closely monitor his/her condition. If glaucoma goes unnoticed, which is possible because it presents no symptoms, vision loss is not far behind. Peripheral (side) vision is usually affected first, followed by central vision. These changes can be so gradual that an individual can lose a significant portion of their vision before even noticing.
Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible; however, glaucoma can be managed if detected early. With early detection and treatment, your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – can preserve vision 95% of the time or more. So, when was your last eye exam?
Glaucoma Detection and Treatment in Annapolis
Led by Dr. Boles, the Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC), located in Annapolis, Maryland, offers complete ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. AAEC is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and our state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
Anne Arundel Eye Center always welcomes new patients.
If you have any questions about Elevated Eye Pressure and Glaucoma, please contact Dr. Boles, Dr. Kathryn Gurganus Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010. AAEC is staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals who will help guide you on your healing journey.