If you have not been screened for glaucoma in the past two years, you are overdue, especially if you’re at high risk. African Americans over age 40, smokers, diabetics, everyone over age 60, and those with a family history of glaucoma are at high risk for an eye disease that has no early warning symptoms and causes irreversible loss of vision (peripheral and eventually central vision if left untreated). If detected early enough, there are treatments available that may save remaining vision. A comprehensive exam tests for an increase in inner-eye pressure that damages the optic nerve and involves close inspection of the optic nerve, a check of corneal thickness, and other aspects of eye structure and visual acuity. Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve – the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. When damage to the optic nerve fibers occurs, blind spots develop. Early detection and treatment are the keys to preventing optic nerve damage and blindness from glaucoma. Remember, you have only one pair of eyes. Eye drops are the most common treatment for reducing eye pressure associated with glaucoma.
Sep 24, 2012