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Guide to Glaucoma: How to Prevent It, Spot It, and Treat It

Monday, December 19, 2016 @ 11:12 PM
Author: Amit Mathur

Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases that cause optic nerve damage and permanent loss of vision if left untreated. It is one of the more common eye diseases and is directly caused by a buildup of excess fluid, which puts increased pressure on your optic nerves and can cause irreparable damage and blindness. It develops slowly and is painless, so while it can be difficult to notice right away it can be spotted with regular eye exams. Here is a quick guide to prevent, spot, and treat glaucoma.

glaucoma-prevention

Signs & Symptoms

The first overt symptoms of Glaucoma is the deterioration of your peripheral vision before central vision loss. The next step is your other eye has trying to make up the difference of your loss of peripheral vision, so you or someone who sees your eyes might notice that one of your eyes seems to be angled inwards. Here are other common symptoms:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Severe eye pain in either eye
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Having red eye
  • Experiencing a headache centralized over the eyebrow

It is important to realize that by the time these symptoms appear, your glaucoma is already is in its advanced stage. You probably were showing signs of it for a while before it gets to that stage, which is why it is so important to have regular eye exams as they can spot the early signs ahead of time.

Prevention

Thankfully, glaucoma is an eye disease that can be prevented. The first way is to have regular eye exams so your optometrist can spot it and treat it before it gets to the advanced stage. While some people are genetically more likely to get glaucoma, there are things you can do to prevent it. Common risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • Eye pressure — the most important risk factor for glaucoma
  • High blood pressure — affects the blood flow to the eye which can affect eye pressure
  • Migraines — people with glaucoma often also have migraines but there is no direct cause
  • Obesity — diabetic retinopathy restricts blood flow to the eye and is caused by diabetes, and people who are obese are higher risks to be diabetic

So if you want to prevent glaucoma or at least lower your risk for getting it, you can start by being healthier. If you are obese or have high blood pressure, consult your doctor and start eating better and exercising to get your weight and blood pressure under control. If you feel pressure in your eyes or experience migraines with any frequency, see your doctor and make sure you get eye exams.

Treatment

Treatment of glaucoma depends on the severity of the disease. An ophthalmologist can prescribe liquid eye drops to help relieve your eye pressure and reduce your risk of contracting it. However, depending on how advanced your glaucoma is surgery might be necessary to correct it. Surgery is useful for improving the flow of fluid in the eye and getting rid of the pressure that causes the problem, but it can’t reverse any loss of vision that’s already happened.

If you are someone who is more at risk for glaucoma, either because of your genetics or blood pressure, it cannot be stressed enough that you should schedule regular eye exams to spot early signs of glaucoma so you can get treatment before you experience any permanent vision loss.

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