Eye exams can feel like one more thing for your to-do list. If your vision has always been good, what is the point of starting yearly screenings? If you’ve been seeing your optometrist for annual vision exams, what more do you need to do? A lot. Regardless of your current perceived eye health, dilated eye exams are a must. Glaucoma is one reason why. Here, we discuss reasons that it should be on your radar.
- Glaucoma is the “silent thief of sight.”
We’ll be straightforward, glaucoma can cause blindness. That is precisely what is meant by “the silent thief of sight. Not only does glaucoma threaten eyesight, but it does so without warning, without pain. That is precisely what is meant by the “silent thief of sight.” Need we say more? No. But we will. Glaucoma increases the pressure inside the eye. The pressure damages the optic nerve, which is responsible for vision. Compression on this nerve does not hurt. It doesn’t cause any throbbing or itching or redness or blurriness. It only causes vision loss. The first area affected is the periphery, your side vision. The area where you may not notice as much. Often, it is the routine ophthalmic exam that detects this condition.
- Glaucoma risk increases with age.
The Glaucoma Research Foundation advises adults to maintain routine visits with an ophthalmologist who performs glaucoma screenings as follows:
- Before age 40: Every 2 to 4 years
- Age 40 to age 54: Every 1 to 3 years
- Age 55 to 64: Every 1 to 2 years
- After age 65: Every 6 to 12 months
Understanding that screenings are the most common way of detecting potential vision loss, their value cannot be overstated.
Vision is protected through proper care.
Glaucoma is a very real threat to eyesight. However, it isn’t a sentence. Having glaucoma does not mean you will go blind no matter what you do. No. Your ophthalmologist can prescribe eye drops to lower the pressure that could damage the optic nerve. They can prescribe oral medication to manage glaucoma. If necessary, an ophthalmologist may perform a minor surgical procedure to drain excess fluid from the eye to protect the optic nerve.