The 411 on Glaucoma

In the health and medical world terms like “glaucoma” are thrown around as if they’re just an ordinary term. However, to normal everyday citizens, it can be hard to know just what medical professionals are really discussing when they use the term “glaucoma.” Read on to learn more about what glaucoma is, how it is caused, and if there are treatments.

What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is one of the most complex eye diseases that causes optic nerve damage and visual field loss. Glaucoma usually affects individuals who are over the age of 40 and who may have a family history of this disease.

How is it caused?
Caused primarily by Although some people speculate that eye pressure is a contributing factor leading to glaucoma, glaucoma.com indicates that both patients with and without an increased amount of eye pressure have glaucoma. Glaucoma is said to be hereditary though, so if you have a direct family member who has glaucoma and you are over the age of 40, it’s a good idea to visit your optometrist at least once or twice a year in order to be properly tested for this disorder.

Glaucoma TreatmentAccording to WebMD, you are at an increased risk for glaucoma if you fall into any of the following categories:

You are at an increased risk of glaucoma if you:

  • Are of African-American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent
  • Are over age 40
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Have poor vision
  • Have diabetes
  • Take certain steroid medications, such as prednisone
  • Have had trauma to the eye or eyes

What are treatments?
Depending on the severity of your glaucoma, your age, your overall health, and other factors, there are two main treatment options for this disease.

Eye Drops
As the first step in your treatment of glaucoma, your doctor will likely prescribe you with some eye drops. These eye drops will reduce the production of fluid over your eyes that cause things like obstructed vision.

Surgery
If the eye drops don’t work or if your glaucoma is too advanced for them to work properly, your doctor may recommend surgery. During surgery, the production of fluid in your eyes will be somewhat stifled in order to give you back your vision.

To learn more about glaucoma and treatments for glaucoma, contact our office today!

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