Around 3 million Americans at present have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute forecasts a 58% increase in the number of patients with glaucoma, raising the number of those affected to 4.2 million by 2030. With the prevalence of glaucoma, it’s wise to be informed about the basics of this particular eye disease. In observance of Glaucoma Awareness Month, eye care clinic Park Slope Eye sheds light on the causes and symptoms of glaucoma, as well as management options for the disease.
Defining the Disease
Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects the optic nerve. Depending on the severity of the damage, at times glaucoma can even lead to blindness. The disease can develop in one or both eyes.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is often attributed to an increase in eye pressure. Your eyes continuously produce a liquid substance known as the aqueous. The fluid flows in and out of the space in front of your eyes to nourish nearby tissues. The aqueous must be able to drain from the eyes in order to maintain a healthy eye pressure. Glaucoma develops when the aqueous doesn’t drain properly, increasing the pressure in your eyes and thus putting a strain on your optic nerves.
Another factor that may contribute to optic nerve damage is your blood pressure. This is why, apart from proper eye care, you should also maintain appropriate blood pressure levels.
Dubbed as “the sneaky thief of sight”, glaucoma has no initial symptoms. Patients will just gradually lose their peripheral vision. Over time, central vision may decrease as well until the patient loses vision completely. Vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be restored, but the disease can be detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The eye exam includes a visual acuity test, visual field test, tonometry and pachymetry.
Since there is no cure for glaucoma, Park Slope Eye stresses the importance of setting a regular appointment with your eye specialist for early detection of the disease. Certain treatments and medications such as laser trabeculoplasty and conventional surgery can delay the progression of glaucoma.
Turn to Park Slope Eye for reliable eye care products and services. Call us today at (347) 380-7070 to schedule an appointment. We work with patients in Brooklyn, NY, and other areas in New York.