Loss of vision is a common fear for many. Unfortunately for some, this fear is not unfounded. There are several eye diseases and conditions that can result in blindness, especially if these conditions are not noticed early. One of these conditions is glaucoma. At Advanced Eye Care Associates, our optometrists in Providence, RI, work hard to diagnose and treat cases of glaucoma early.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects the optic nerve in the brain, which translates to what you see. In many cases, glaucoma is hard to notice at first, as it starts by slowly affecting peripheral vision. As the disease progresses, side vision is affected. Eventually, center vision is affected, much like the closing of a curtain.
Risk Factors and Causes of Glaucoma
One of the most common reasons why people develop glaucoma is due to excess pressure in the eye. While this can occur at any age, it is most common in those who are over age 60. Because the progression is very slow, people frequently do not notice it is happening. It takes a visit to the eye doctor in order to recognize symptoms when little or no damage has occurred. Risk factors to watch for include:
- Family history
- Medical conditions
- Being African American, Asian, or Hispanic
- High levels of nearsightedness or farsightedness
- Some types of eye injuries or surgeries
Symptoms You Might Notice
While you might not experience any symptoms at all, you may have symptoms that should be mentioned to your optometrist. These include:
- Patchy blind spots or tunnel vision
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Seeing halos on lights
Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma
Although damage due to the disease cannot be reversed, at Advanced Eye Care in Providence, there are many instruments and treatments used in optometry that can help you preserve the sight you have left. By measuring eye pressure and corneal thickness, we can determine if eye pressure is abnormal and if you are in great danger of glaucoma, or if the early stages are already affecting you. We also have tests that can look into your optic nerve and assess the level of damage.
Treatment for glaucoma often starts with eye drops designed to reduce eye pressure. Once you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, it is critically important to see your eye doctor frequently and work to lower your eye pressure and/or overall blood pressure through exercise and a healthy diet. Wearing eye protection to prevent injury is also important.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
To learn more about glaucoma, or to help manage yours, contact Advanced Eye Care Associates in Providence, RI, at (401)-331-2020 to make an appointment.