Glaucoma is an eye condition that may lead to blindness if undetected or left untreated. It’s typically caused by a build-up of pressure within the eye that damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in older adults and may have no warning signs. For these reasons, it’s important to keep regular appointments with your eye care professional so that they can catch this debilitating condition in its earliest stages. In the Brunswick, GA area, Vision Source Family Eye Care can perform routine glaucoma screenings, diagnosis, and treatment.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Elevated eye pressure is the main cause of glaucoma. Some people are genetically prone to this disorder, as it tends to run in families. However, other factors may play roles as well. If you’re over the age of 60, you’re Black, Asian, or Hispanic, or if you have another chronic condition such as high blood pressure or heart disease, you may be more at risk. Other risk factors include:
Sickle Cell Anemia
Prior Eye Surgeries
Corticosteroid Eye drops (Long-Term Use)
Any of these may put you more at risk of developing glaucoma as you age. It’s important to schedule frequent eye exams, as blindness can develop in one or both eyes.
What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
The symptoms of glaucoma may or may not be painful, depending upon which type you have. Acute angle-closure glaucoma causes severe headaches, eye pain, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting, and redness in and around the eyes. Open-angle glaucoma, however, causes mostly blind spots and tunnel vision. Both conditions may result in blindness if left untreated. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the better your chances of retaining your vision.
Can Glaucoma Be Treated?
There are treatments to prevent glaucoma from worsening. They involve lowering the pressure in your eye. To do this, your eye doctor may prescribe eye drops, medication, laser treatment, or surgery. They may also prescribe a combination of the above. While vision damage from glaucoma can’t be restored, your eye specialist can help slow the decline.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Glaucoma?
Lifestyle may help aid in the prevention of glaucoma. If you eat well, maintain a healthy weight, and get plenty of exercise, you may be less prone. You should also limit your caffeine intake and avoid chugging fluids, which can temporarily increase the pressure in your eyes. Sleeping with your head slightly elevated is also helpful. So is managing any health conditions such as diabetes. See your eye doctor often, and be sure to follow their advice.
What Should I Do If I Have Glaucoma?
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with glaucoma, you should talk with your eye care specialist about your options. Several treatments are available, including having drainage tubes placed to decrease eye pressure and having minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. These may or may not be good options for you, but your eye doctor will be happy to sit down with you to discuss what your next step should be. The most important action you can take is to stay in close contact with your vision specialist and make regular appointments for eye exams.
If you have symptoms that could be glaucoma-related, it’s important to see your vision specialist right away. Some types of glaucoma are considered medical emergencies, and as a result, need immediate care.
Trust Vision Source Family Eye Care in Brunswick
For patients in the Brunswick, St. Marys, and Jesup areas of Georgia, Vision Source Family Eye Care is a trusted leader in vision care. We pride ourselves on our ability to treat everyone in the family, whether you’re booking an appointment for routine or preventative eye care, or you need glaucoma or retinopathy screening. Our professional staff is here to meet your needs in a friendly and compassionate way.
Call Vision Source Family Eye Care today to schedule your initial consultation. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have regarding your family’s eye care needs, and we’ll always work hard to find an appointment time that works well for you and fits into your busy schedule. Make your next eye appointment at Vision Source Family Eye Care, with locations throughout Georgia.