Over 3 million Americans have glaucoma but only half are aware that this condition is affecting their vision. Glaucoma often goes unnoticed in early stages as it may not cause an immediate vision change or pain. If you have glaucoma, there may be no warning signs or symptoms until your vision has been affected with irreversible damage.
The two most frequently types of glaucoma are Primary Open-Angle and Angle-Closure Glaucoma.
Primary open-angle glaucoma, is the most common form as the eye becomes less efficient in fluid drainage causing an increase of pressure that can damage the optic nerve. Primary open-angle Glaucoma usually has no symptoms and will lead to gradual vision loss if untreated.
Angle-Closure Glaucoma affects the iris, (part of the eye associated with eye color) and blocks the drainage canal entrance causing pressure to build up within the eye suddenly. Symptoms of this form of glaucoma may include severe eye pain, blurred vision, nausea and headache. This is an emergency that can lead to blindness if not treated quickly.
Glaucoma can be detected through an eye exam and there are treatments including eye drops or lasers that can reduce risk of vision loss. Early detection is most important through regular eye exams.
Glaucoma usually affects people over age 40, but can occur sooner. Although everyone is at risk for glaucoma, some groups are at higher risk. For example, people over age 65, those with a family history of glaucoma, diabetics, people who are nearsighted, those with high blood pressure or those who have had severe or traumatic eye injury are at elevated risk for glaucoma. Afro-Americans and Asian-Americans also have a higher risk for glaucoma. For anyone having these risk factors, a thorough eye exam to detect glaucoma is recommended.
California Eye Professionals makes use of state-of-the-art computerized examination techniques to detect early evidence of optic nerve damage and peripheral vision loss that is associated with Glaucoma.