Big Bend Family Eye Care knows that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the internal pressure in your eyes increases to the point where it causes damage to the nerve fibers in your optic nerve, leading to vision loss. This increase in pressure occurs when the passages that allow fluid in your eyes to drain become blocked or clogged. While it occurs mostly in people over the age of 40, people with a family history of the disease, African Americans, and people who are very nearsighted or diabetic are at a higher risk of developing the disease as well.
The most common type of glaucoma develops gradually and painlessly, without any noticeable symptoms. There is a rarer type, however, that occurs rapidly with symptoms that include blurred vision, loss of side vision, seeing colored rings around lights, and pain or redness in the eyes.
While glaucoma can’t be prevented, if it is diagnosed early enough, it can be controlled and vision loss doesn’t have to happen. Early detection is key, however, which makes regular eye examinations for at-risk people extremely important. If you feel that you may be at risk, the specialists at Big Bend Family Eye Care can perform your comprehensive eye examination, including: a tonometry test to measure the pressure in your eyes, an examination of the inside of your eyes and optic nerves, and a visual field test to check for damage in your side and central vision. Treatments can be prescribed to help reduce the pressure in your eyes ranging from prescription eye drops to laser treatment or surgery.