Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and blindness.
Many people have heard the word glaucoma, but few know what it actually is. Glaucoma occurs when the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises. One of the leading causes of blindness, glaucoma has no warning signs and is often called the ‘sneak thief of sight’. Interestingly, glaucoma tends to be an inherited condition.
So how does glaucoma have an impact on a person’s daily life? Because of pressure damaging one’s optic nerve, there could be a loss of vision leading all the way to permanent blindness over time. Obviously, this is not something people want.
Glaucoma generally doesn’t become an issue with people until they’re older– say, over 40 or 50. As people age, eye fluid may not circulate normally in the front part of the eye. There’s a channel through which this fluid flows, and if it becomes blocked then fluid builds up causing glaucoma. Other possible causes can include chemical injury to the eye or a severe eye infection. Typically, people will experience glaucoma in both their eyes. There are actually two types of the condition: open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common, and angle-closure glaucoma.
How do you know if you have glaucoma? Unfortunately, most people experience few or no symptoms, at least initially. However, if you notice a loss of your side vision, that could indicate you have it. Also, things like headaches, blurred vision or the appearance of halos around lights could be potential warning signs.
Early diagnosis of glaucoma matters. Things like medication, eye drops and/or surgery can help relieve pressure in the eye to prevent further damage to the optic nerve.
The test for glaucoma is easy and painless. Ophthalmology Associates of WNY can check you for the condition. Please call 716-632-3545 to make an appointment for a check-up, especially if you’ve been experiencing a loss of side vision or “something doesn’t seem right” with one or both of your eyes.