Glaucoma: Watch Out For This Silent Destroyer…
Glaucoma can get you! This relatively common condition shows no symptoms in the beginning. But, like a stealth bomber, it can wreak havoc on your eyesight. Fluid builds up in the eye, causing increased pressure that will lead to a whole host of maladies. In fact, if it goes untreated for too long, glaucoma can substantially damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and even blindness. This is one condition you don’t want to mess with. Therefore, especially if you are sixty or older, be religious about getting regular eye exams.
According to the National Institute of Senior Health, nearly 2.7 million people have glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Although anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at higher risk. They include:
- African-Americans over age 40
- everyone over age 60, especially Hispanics/Latinos
- people with a family history of glaucoma.In addition to age, eye pressure is a risk factor. Whether you develop glaucoma depends on the level of pressure your optic nerve can tolerate without being damaged. This level is different for each person. That’s why a comprehensive dilated eye exam is very important. It can help your eye care professional determine what level of eye pressure is normal for you.
The good news is that glaucoma is relatively easy to treat. Medications may be either in the form of eye drops or pills. Some drugs reduce pressure by slowing the flow of fluid into the eye. Others help to improve fluid drainage.
For more information on glaucoma, it’s causes and risk factors, be sure to check out NIHSeniorHealth. This is one important resource you can use to keep your eyes healthy, your vision sharp and your outlook feisty for years to come!
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