Contrary to popular belief, glaucoma refers to a set of conditions and not an individual disease. In addition, there are a few different types that affect people, some more serious than others. For instance, primary open-angle glaucoma is what most patients have, and the only warning sign tends to be a gradual deterioration in vision.
Why Glaucoma is a Major Problem
This condition is often overlooked until it reaches a severe stage. If you suspect something may be wrong or have experienced a noticeable vision loss, don't hesitate to contact an eye doctor. Treating glaucoma as quickly as possible is the only way to halt its debilitating effects. Here are some helpful tips for determining whether you may have glaucoma, as well as steps you can take to protect yourself.
Do you have Glaucoma?
- In most cases, glaucoma occurs when the pressure inside a person's eyes builds up to an unsafe level. Intraocular pressure, as it is called, can damage the optic nerve that transmits images to the brain through what we see.
- Patients suffering from primary open-angle glaucoma typically do not experience painful symptoms due to the gradual increase of the pressure over time. If you notice a decrease in vision or have experienced tunnel vision, you should contact an optometrist. Acute angle-closure glaucoma occurs rapidly and can cause eye pain, nausea and vomiting. If you have experienced any of these symptoms or a sudden loss of vision, this condition may be at fault.
- Eye drops and other forms of medication are generally prescribed by eye doctors to reduce the wear and tear of the pressure caused by glaucoma, but surgical intervention is often required.
- Risk factors for the condition include diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
It is important to remember that over time, glaucoma will permanently damage the optic nerve that is present in the eye, resulting in blindness. And although no cure exists, optometrists can help increase the longevity and quality of their patients' eyesight through medical and natural treatment methods.
Dr. Grace Kim is Chairperson for Clinical Advisory Panel of America's Best, a nationwide eyeglasses retailer. With over 300 locations nationwide, America's Best provides thousands of high quality eyewear to customers every day. They carry a wide selection of designer eyeglasses and contact lenses in each of their stores, and they also offer eye exams. Learn more about designer eyeglasses at http://www.twopair.com/eyeglasses/designer-glasses/