The size of the population living with glaucoma is startling. There are three million persons in the United States and over 60 million across the world. Experts say that these numbers may increase by more than half by 2030. While these numbers are significant by themselves, the nature of the condition is also serious.
Glaucoma is the top reason behind preventable blindness. There are no symptoms to warn you. Doctors call glaucoma the “sneak thief of sight” because it comes in quietly and takes the sight away. Unfortunately, the blindness that glaucoma causes is irreversible.
The sad reality is that despite the seriousness of the disease, most people don’t know about it. They learn about it when they or people close to them are diagnosed. But, by creating awareness, you may bring them to the knowledge of the existence and possibility of them getting glaucoma. They may then take steps to remain healthy and to go for regular eye exams to catch the condition early.
Glaucoma is a cluster of eye diseases that result in blindness. The most common of them affect the elderly and the middle-aged. Glaucoma causes blindness by damaging the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the cable-like nerve that sends images to the brain for interpretation.
There is no cure for glaucoma, and the blindness it causes is permanent. But, when caught early, surgery and medication help to slow or stop its progression. The key is to detect glaucoma early before there’s too much damage. The ophthalmologist or optometrist then designs a treatment plan.
Doctors cannot truly point to a certain something that causes the condition. But, they suspect that glaucoma has something to do with heredity. It is passed from one generation to another.
Glaucoma starts with a blockage in the eye that prevents regular flow and drainage of the fluid produced in the eye. Eye fluid starts to accumulate, and pressure starts building inside the eye. When this pressure heightens, it damages the optic nerve, causing blindness.
There are two types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. You may also have secondary glaucoma, which is a complication from other illnesses.
Any person of any age can get glaucoma. But, there are risk factors that heighten the possibility of getting glaucoma. They include:
· Age, 60 years and above
· A family history of glaucoma
· Severe myopia, nearsightedness
· Heart disease and high blood pressure
· Eye injury or recent eye surgery
· Being of Hispanic, African, or Asian descent
Since there is no telling when glaucoma has come, the best protection against it is to have regular eye checks. A comprehensive eye exam will detect changes in your eye, allowing for early detection.
Get a comprehensive eye exam and glaucoma treatment at Eastside Eye Physicians in Shelby Township and St. Clair Shores, Michigan. You can also call the Shelby Township office on 586-247-2020 or the St Clair Shores office on 586-200-1905 to request an appointment.