An estimated 3 million Americans have glaucoma, the second-leading cause of blindness around the world. Glaucoma has a well-earned nickname of “the silent thief of sight” because it can damage your eyes before you even realize you have the disease, so getting a prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential for the best outcome.
Caused by a buildup of excess fluid
This fluid accumulates because there is a problem with the drainage system in your eyes. When the fluid builds up, the pressure in your eye increases. This pressure compresses the optic nerve, and this causes damage over time.
There are no symptoms until the disease has caused irreversible damage
In the beginning, this excess fluid causes no issues or symptoms, and then symptoms progress slowly. Signs of glaucoma usually only start appearing when the disease has progressed, and the damage that has been done is irreversible.
Only way to catch it early is to have regular eye exams
Because of the lack of symptoms early on, the only way to know if you have glaucoma is to go for regular eye exams. At your routine eye examination, your optometrist or ophthalmologist checks for glaucoma by testing the pressure in your eyes using a device called a tonometer.
If the pressure measures above 20 mmHg, you might have glaucoma and should have further tests. Not everyone with increased intraocular pressure has glaucoma, but it is a major risk factor.
Learn whether you are at a heightened risk for glaucoma
Glaucoma can develop in anyone, but certain risk factors increase the likelihood of it occurring in you. If any of these risk factors apply to you, it’s even more crucial that you schedule regular eye examinations. Groups that are more at-risk include:
People over 60
People with a family history of glaucoma
Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be treated
If your primary doctor suspects glaucoma, don’t delay in making your appointment at Malik Eye Care so we can assess your condition and treat your glaucoma quickly.
Although damage that has already happened can’t be reversed, our experienced team has been helping patients stop glaucoma in its tracks and save their sight. Trust the decades of experience of our team of doctors to help you conserve your vision. Request an appointment at one of our offices here!