Glaucoma is a complicated disease of the optic nerve in which the optic nerve damage leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss – which is why glaucoma has been called “the silent thief of sight.”
Sadly, glaucoma is the second leading cause of preventable blindness in the country, even though there are effective treatments available. It commonly affects both eyes, although one eye may have more severe symptoms and signs than the other. Most people have no symptoms and no early warning signs of this devastating disease. But the good news is glaucoma can be diagnosed at an annual eye exam and treated so that it does not progress. Read on to learn some of the things that raise the risk of developing glaucoma:
- Gender: Females are three times more likely to develop glaucoma as males.
- Advanced age: People over the age of 60 are at higher risk.
- Some illnesses: People with diabetes or hypothyroidism have a higher chance of developing glaucoma.
- Heredity: Glaucoma is a group of diseases…the most common type is hereditary.
- Myopia: People with myopia, also called nearsightedness, have a higher risk of glaucoma.
- Eye injuries or conditions: Some eye injuries, especially severe ones, are linked to a higher glaucoma risk. Retinal detachment, eye inflammation and eye tumors can also cause glaucoma.
- Corticosteroid use: Patients on long-term corticosteroids have an elevated risk of developing several different conditions, including glaucoma. The risk is even greater with eyedrops containing corticosteroids.
Treating glaucoma involves improving the flow of fluid inside the eye, reducing its production, and sometimes both. Damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, so it’s important to remember that glaucoma cannot be cured but it can be managed. Regular eye exams and proper treatment can slow its progression and prevent further loss of sight.
At DeLaine, we specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of glaucoma. If you have concerns or questions about the symptoms of glaucoma, don’t wait. Call to schedule an appointment, today: (219) 464-7546.