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You’ve probably heard about Glaucoma before. Perhaps you have a relative who had it. However, how much do you know about this condition and what causes it? Glaucoma is an eye condition that can cause loss of vision and, in some cases, pain in the eye area. Because this condition is so common, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with early warning signs of the disease.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that typically affects older patients. It refers to nerve damage to the optic nerve due to pressure from an increase of fluid in the eye. It’s normal for some fluid to be present in your eye. These fluids typically flow through natural channels within the structure of your eye. However, there are instances when inflammation can cause these channels to become blocked. When that happens, pressure builds up around your optic nerve.
Some of the early symptoms of glaucoma include pain in the eye area, loss of vision, irritated eyes, or the appearance of halos around bright lights. Some patients even report feelings of nausea due to glaucoma. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s important that you make an appointment to see your eye doctor right away.
How Do You Get It?
In many cases, glaucoma can be hereditary. That means if you had a parent or grandparent who suffered from the condition, you may be genetically predisposed to developing it yourself later on in life. However, your family history is not the only factor that determines whether or not you’ll develop glaucoma. This condition is very common among patients with diabetes.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to protect yourself from getting glaucoma, especially if it runs in your family. However, maintaining your overall health can be beneficial in keeping the disease at bay. Preventative eye care is also extremely important.
Are There Treatments?
The good news for glaucoma patients is that there are treatment options available. Your course of treatment will depend on what stage your condition is in. In some cases, specialized eye drops can be used to reduce the pressure on the eye and optical nerve. However, not all patients will be a candidate for medicated eye drops. If you have a previous heart condition or certain allergies, this may not be the best treatment for you.
Laser eye surgery is also an option for glaucoma. During this procedure, our experienced optical surgeons will use lasers to drain excess fluid from your affected eye. This can effectively relieve the pressure surrounding your eye, allowing you to see clearly again while preventing your condition from getting worse.
When to Call Your Doctor
If you suspect that you or a loved one are experiencing early signs of glaucoma, it’s best to make an appointment with your eye doctor right away. The earlier we are able to detect and treat your glaucoma, the better your prognosis could be. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.