Did You Know?
If glaucoma is left untreated it can ultimately result in blindness
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma from babies to senior citizens -Glaucoma Research Foundation
It is estimated that over 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those know that they have the disease-Eye Disease Research Prevalence Group
Glaucoma is a silent illness; most people have no early symptoms or warning signs. Over time glaucoma causes peripheral vision to diminish and eventually can cause blind spots to occur. If untreated, glaucoma can ultimately result in blindness.
Christopherson Eye Clinic wants to remind people that knowing your risks for glaucoma can save your sight. Everyone is at risk for developing disease, however, possessing any of these following factors can increase your risk for developing glaucoma:
Leading Glaucoma Risk Factors
- Age (65 and older)
- Elevated eye pressure
- Family history of glaucoma
- African, Asian or Latino ethnicity
- Previous eye injury
- Steroid use
- Related health problems, including diabetes, low blood pressure, migraine headaches
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that causes a gradual degeneration of the cells that make up the optic nerve which carries visual information from the eye to the brain. As the nerve cells die, vision is slowly lost, usually beginning in the periphery. Often, the loss of vision is unnoticeable until a significant amount of nerve damage has occurred. Therefore as many as half of all people with glaucoma may be unaware of their disease.
What Causes Glaucoma?
At the front o the eye, there is a small space called the anterior chamber. Clear fluid flows in and out of the chamber to bathe and nourish nearby tissues. In glaucoma, for still unknown reasons, the fluid drains too slowly out of the eye. As the fluid builds up, the pressure inside the eye rises. Unless this pressure is controlled, it may cause damage to the optic nerve and other parts of the eye and loss of vision.
With today’s improved treatments, glaucoma patients no longer face inevitable blindness, but preserving vision depends on seeing an eye doctor at the right time and carefully following a prescribed plan.