Are You at Risk for Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness among seniors, but this affliction affects individuals of all ages. Depending on your history and lifestyle, you could be at risk for glaucoma, yourself. The signs of glaucoma are often subtle and gradual. You may not realize you have a problem until your vision declines significantly. The most important thing that you can to is to see an eye care provider for regular exams and testing to determine if you have glaucoma, and to begin treatment. In Arvada, our eye doctor at Arvada Optometric Center can answer any questions you have about glaucoma.
Glaucoma is most often caused by high eye pressure that damages the optic nerve, and usually results in vision loss. While there are different types of glaucoma, here are some of the symptoms that you should be aware of:
- Blind spots in your peripheral vision
- Tunnel vision
- Eye pain
- Redness in or around eyes
- Blurry vision
- Halos around bright lights
- Difficulty driving, especially after dark
- Patchy blind spots in your side (peripheral) or central vision, frequently in both eyes
If you experience intense eye pain, a severe headache, or have been vomiting, get medical assistance right away.
There are many things that can contribute to the likelihood that you will contract this condition. Some common risk factors and indicators are:
- Age, particularly high risk for those over 60
- Co-occurring conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and sickle cell anemia
- Family history of glaucoma
- Having poor vision, being farsighted or nearsighted
- History of eye trauma or injury to the eye
- History of eye surgery
- Prolonged use of certain kinds of medications, primarily corticosteroid eyedrops
Know that if you are Asian, Hispanic, or Black, your risk for glaucoma is increased.
Early detection and an awareness of symptoms is integral to preventing loss of sight from glaucoma. Preserve your sight with the following practices:
- Do not skip the dilation at your next eye exam. Sure, it can be inconvenient and uncomfortable to get your eyes dilated, but it is important to detect glaucoma, and other eye issues, early.
- Have an eye examination at least every two years in your 40s and 50s, and annually when you are over age 55.
- Make a point to know your family history as it pertains to glaucoma. Did your parents have it? Siblings? This can be significant when assessing your risk for this condition.
- A nutritious diet and regular exercise are also prudent in preventing glaucoma. Anything that lowers your eye pressure, which is a lot like blood pressure, is good and reduces your risks.
- If you are prescribed eye drops by your optometrists, or eye doctor, use them as directed. Often times, eye drops are the main form of treatment for early signs of glaucoma.
- Protect your eyes with glasses or goggles. Eye trauma increases your risk for glaucoma.
Are You at Risk for Glaucoma? Visit Our Eye Care Provider to Find Out More
The only way to know if you have glaucoma is with a simple test at your next optometrists appointment. In Arvada, visit us at Arvada Optometric Center to learn more. Schedule your visit today.