Just like your blood, your eye has pressured—called intraocular pressure. When this pressure increases to dangerous levels, it can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. That’s why controlling pressure in the eye is important. With early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.
Who is at risk for open-angle glaucoma?
Anyone can develop glaucoma. Those who are at higher risk and should have an eye exam at least once every one to two years include:
- African Americans over age 40
- Everyone over age 60
- People with a family history of glaucoma
Open angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, affects millions of Americans—half of whom don’t even know they have it. At first, open-angle glaucoma has no symptoms. It causes no pain. Vision stays normal. As glaucoma remains untreated, a person with glaucoma may notice his or her vision gradually failing with:
- Loss of peripheral (side) vision
- Difficulty focusing on objects
- Decreased central (straight-ahead) vision
Glaucoma is highly treatable. However, vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be restored and, if left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. The key to preventing serious vision loss or blindness from glaucoma is early detection. An annual eye examination is recommended.
The doctors at Haik Humble Eye Center can help control glaucoma with medications, laser procedures and/or surgery. If you are concerned about glaucoma, call today for an appointment.