Is Glaucoma Preventable?

December 2, 2021

Glaucoma is among the top two causes of blindness in the world. People with the condition have optic nerve damage caused by an accumulation of fluid in their eyes. If the condition is poorly controlled or untreated, it can lead to irreversible eye damage.


Glaucoma worsens over time by damaging the optic nerve of the eye. Your optic nerve plays a significant role in your vision by sending signals to your brain from the retina. Pressure increase inside the eye results from the disease. The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, damages the optic nerve that sends images to your brain.


Worsening of the condition can lead to permanent vision loss. Glaucoma often has no symptoms early on, so going for regular eye checkups at your doctor is ideal for an early diagnosis and treatment before permanent damage occurs.




Symptoms of Glaucoma



Glaucoma is hard to identify without a doctor because symptoms can sometimes develop late in the condition. If you observe any of these signs and symptoms, it is best to seek medical care immediately:
 

  • Vision loss.
     

  • Infants with hazy-looking eyes.
     

  • Eye redness.
     

  • Stomach upsets.
     

  • Vomiting.
     

  • Eye pain.
     

  • Seeing halos around light sources.




Causes and Risk Factors 



The aqueous humor is the fluid found in the eye that flows out through the mesh-like passage. If the eye produces too much aqueous humor or a blockage occurs along the passage, a buildup of the fluid occurs.


Glaucoma has fewer common causes. These include chemical or blunt injury to the eye, inflammation, infection, and blockage of blood vessels in the eye. Glaucoma often affects adults above 40 years old, though it can also affect children, infants, and even young adults. You are also a candidate of getting the condition if you have:
 

  • A history of glaucoma in your family.
     

  • Poor vision.
     

  • High eye pressure.
     

  • Diabetes.
     

  • An injury to one or both of your eyes.
     

  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, or sickle cell anemia.
     

  • Take particular steroid medications like prednisone.
     

  • Very thin cornea.




Is Glaucoma Prevention Possible?



There are no known means of preventing glaucoma. Early diagnosis prevents significant vision loss or blindness. 


Glaucoma treatment and medication slow the progress of the disease. Administering early treatment mitigates further damage by reducing elevated intraocular pressure to prevent damaging your optic nerve.




Glaucoma Diagnosis 



Your doctor can diagnose the condition by conducting an eye exam and doing painless eye tests. A dilated eye exam is among the eye tests that you need to expect. Your doctor will widen your pupils to view the condition of your optic nerve.


Your doctor can also do a tonometry test to check for the pressure inside your eye. You may also have a vision test to check if your peripheral vision is okay or not.




Glaucoma Treatment 



Your eye doctor can treat glaucoma by lowering the eye pressure inside your eye. Your doctor can also treat your condition through oral medications, prescription eye drops, microsurgery, or laser surgery.




For more on Glaucoma, visit Eye Associates of New York at our office in New York, New York. You can call (212) 650-4888 today to schedule an appointment.

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