What Is Glaucoma and How Does It Affect Your Vision?

August 07, 2015

Glaucoma is a disease that directly impacts the optic nerve of the eye, which slowly deteriorates over a period of time as a result. It's a debilitating eye disease that can have long-term affects on your vision if left untreated, such as permanent damage of the optic nerve and blindness.

Glaucoma is normally associated with other chronic diseases, most commonly diabetes. But it can also occur on its own in individuals who are older in age and who have experienced continual vision loss over the course of their lives. Glaucoma can arrive in one of two versions: open angle glaucoma or closed angle glaucoma. Open angle glaucoma occurs over time and is often slow and progressive. Closed angle glaucoma occurs suddenly, is often painful, and results in rapid vision loss.

Closed angle glaucoma is usually associated with severe eye trauma, but many people do not even know that they have open angle glaucoma because it affects the vision at such a slow pace. It is often hard to detect, especially in younger individuals. As it stands, glaucoma affects roughly one in 200 individuals age 50 and older every year. The symptoms of glaucoma are hard to define because everyone experiences some kind of vision loss as they get older. But if you have eye exams on a regular basis, you'll be able to stay on top of any changes in your vision that might be associated with glaucoma. If caught early enough, glaucoma can be treated properly so that long-lasting vision complications do not occur.

The treatment of glaucoma varies, depending on the ophthalmologist you have as well as your age and health condition. Some ophthalmologists prescribe intraocular eye drops to help sustain the pressure in your eye, which is often the cause of glaucoma. If the glaucoma is more severe, you may need to undergo eye surgery. Most eye surgeries are performed with a laser and provide temporary relief from glaucoma. Additionally, there have been many technological advances over the years that have evolved for the treatment of glaucoma. These advances often use innovative procedures to help treat the disease. With the rise of diabetes and other chronic diseases, there has been a direct increase in individuals diagnosed with glaucoma. Many diseases go hand in hand with glaucoma, so it's understandable why there has been a direct increase.

The bottom line is that the best you can do for your eyes is to take care of yourself. The healthier you are, the less likely you will be to develop glaucoma. Unless you have a genetic disposition to the disease, you should be able to maintain healthy vision for the rest of your life. Also, do yourself a favor and see you eye doctor on a regular basis. It's important to be aware of the symptoms of glaucoma so that you can identify it if it does occur. The best way to treat glaucoma is to catch it early so that it does not cause any major vision loss. The sooner you begin to treat glaucoma, the better of you'll be.

Roger Ubik has extensive experience in the eye care industry in Austin, TX and is passionate about informing consumers. There are many Austin ophthalmologists available. Finding the right Austin glaucoma specialist is crucial to a successful outcome.
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