Keep a Watchful Eye Out for Signs of Glaucoma
- Posted on: Apr 15 2018
It is estimated that nearly 2.5 million Americans suffers symptoms of glaucoma. This eye disease typically occurs later in life and is characterized by elevated pressure within the eye or eyes. When there is too much pressure in the eye, the optic nerve gets compressed. The optic nerve is the final structure that light affects before objects are interpreted by the brain. That is why a compressed optic nerve can lead to vision loss.
A large number of vision loss diagnoses in our country are attributed to glaucoma and this pressure on the optic nerve. The important note we want to make here is that glaucoma can be treated to the progression of intraocular pressure is significantly slowed or halted. If you have known risk factors for glaucoma, routine eye exams are a vital aspect of long-term health and wellness.
The Silent Nature of Glaucoma
Perhaps the biggest concern related to glaucoma is that indications of onset are very subtle – so subtle that they can be missed altogether. The initial visual changes to occur with glaucoma affect only the periphery, or outer edges, of your vision. Because we do most of our observing straight-ahead and rarely rely on peripheral vision, blurriness or other slight changes may be imperceptible.
Often, the signs of glaucoma are not noticed until the disease has reached an intermediate stage. Visual changes are still localized in the periphery, but they are moving closer to the central vision so become more apparent. From the outer edges of vision, internal pressure on the optic nerve continues to degrade eyesight toward the central visual field.
The detection and treatment of glaucoma have improved as research has identified particular risk factors for this condition. Furthermore, understanding the effect that glaucoma has on intraocular pressure, focused screenings have been developed to measure the pressure within the eye. The current screening methods are said to enable doctors to detect glaucoma a full decade earlier than would have been possible using outdated screening modalities. This is significant because early treatment may prevent vision loss.
Whether you have known risk factors for glaucoma or not, yearly eye exams are an important aspect of healthcare. We would love to see you in our Winchester, VA office. Call 540-722-6200 to schedule your exam.
Posted in: Glaucoma