Taking care of your eyes is vital, whether you have a history of vision problems or not. However, if you have had vision issues before, getting a regular eye exam is even more important. Although some issues, like myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness) are easily corrected, more serious problems can develop. The best way to stay on top of potentially dangerous vision problems is by getting regular eye exams. One of the more serious issues that can be found during an eye exam is glaucoma.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve. This damage is most often caused by elevated eye pressure, and can lead to vision loss. Anyone can get glaucoma. However, it is most common in those who are over 60 years old, have a history of being very nearsighted or farsighted, or have medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or sickle cell anemia. Most cases of glaucoma fall into one of two subtypes: open-angle glaucoma or angle-closure glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. It shows few, if any, early symptoms. The easiest way to tell if you have open-angle glaucoma is by visiting your optometrist. Vision loss eventually occurs if glaucoma is left untreated, and cannot be returned. Catching the disease early is key for slowing its progression. This can be accomplished by applying eye drops to lower pressure in the eyes, or through procedures that drain fluid from the eye to reduce pressure.
Angle-closure glaucoma is more serious than open-angle glaucoma. When the drainage angle in your eye become becomes blocked, often by debris, fluid can’t circulate in the eye. Pressure in your eye rises quickly and can be painful. You may also experience severe headaches, blurred vision, nausea, redness, and the appearance of halos in your line of vision. Angle-closure glaucoma needs immediate emergency care.
If you have any version of glaucoma, our optometrist will check for damage to the optic nerve, inspect your eye’s drainage angle, and check the thickness of your cornea. To determine if vision loss has occurred, you will need a visual field test. From there, the goal is to reduce the pressure in your eyes to prevent additional damage to the optic nerve. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important to be diligent about your treatment, as the disease is one of the leading causes of blindness.
Visit Our Optometrist Today
If you have noticed that your peripheral vision is deteriorating, or if you are having other symptoms, it is important to get an eye exam as soon as possible. Even without symptoms, if you haven’t seen an optometrist lately, it is best to get checked out. This is especially true if you have any of the risk factors for glaucoma. To learn more, contact us at Riviera Opticare Inc. in Scottsdale, AZ at 480-991-6432 or Mesa, AZ at 480-827-9184 to schedule an appointment.