Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma

A diagnosis of glaucoma can be frightening. You may wonder what this means for your vision and what types of treatment are available. Your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC, is the professional who can answer these and other questions you may have regarding your recent diagnosis. But rest assured, there are treatments available to help preserve your existing vision and to prevent vision loss from worsening. The key is early intervention, so the sooner you recognize the signs and seek help, the easier it may be to treat your eye condition.

What Are the Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma?

Many of the earliest warning signs of glaucoma go unnoticed because they’re so mild. This is why it’s important to notice changes to your vision, especially as you age. However, if you notice symptoms such as:

  • Seeing halos around lights at night
  • Black or patchy spots in your vision
  • Worsening tunnel vision
  • Headaches
  • Eye pain

It’s time to schedule an appointment with your vision specialist. These could all be indicators that glaucoma has developed.

Who Is Most At Risk of Developing Glaucoma?

You may be more at risk of developing glaucoma if you have a family history of the disease or if you have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes or hypertension. You may also be more prone to glaucoma if you’ve ever suffered a serious eye injury, or take certain medications such as steroids. Your best defense against this degenerative eye disease is to have regular glaucoma screenings at the office of your eye doctor.

For help with glaucoma in Wilmington, NC, call Paul Vision Institute today. Our friendly and knowledgeable clinicians will be happy to sit down with you to discuss your recent glaucoma diagnosis and to provide you with treatment solutions. Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam and glaucoma screening.

Can Eating Healthier Prevent Glaucoma?

Your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC sees many patients diagnosed with glaucoma who wonder if they could have done anything to prevent it. Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can—and often does—lead to partial or complete blindness. It stands to reason that if you could do something to avoid the diagnosis, you would do it, right? Many people feel that getting adequate nutrients, in other words, eating healthier, could prevent glaucoma. But is this fact or wishful thinking?

What Causes Glaucoma?

To answer this question, you need to know what causes glaucoma in the first place. In that way, you can kind of step backward and find out if more nutrients might actually make a difference.

Glaucoma can be caused by one or more reasons, either acting individually or in tandem with one another. Factors and conditions that can lead to glaucoma include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Extreme Myopia or Farsightedness
  • History of serious eye injury
  • Use of certain medications
  • And more…

Note that while the above-mentioned things are risk factors for glaucoma, the actual physical manifestation of glaucoma is very specific. Your eye doctor can diagnose glaucoma in Wilmington, NC by identifying these manifestations.

The Connection Between Nutrition and Glaucoma

Although there is no known direct correlation between nutrition and glaucoma, if you consider the risk factors of glaucoma, you will see that some of them are related to poor health. Specifically, untreated diabetes, high blood pressure and being overweight are all under a person’s control, give or take, depending upon circumstances. A healthy diet can help to bring a person back to the end of the spectrum defined as good health; sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals, and weighing within the range of what’s considered healthy in ratio of their height.

Basically, eating healthily can lower the number of risk factors that a person is exposed to. Someone who eats whole, nutrient-dense foods is simply less likely to have those risk factors that can sometimes be controlled.

The bottom line is that eating healthy can’t directly prevent glaucoma, because there are risk factors that don’t correspond to good nutrition However, since eating healthy can reduce the risk factors that you personally have, it’s worth it to commit to a wholesome diet that can partially help.

How Glaucoma Sneaks Up On You 

Did you know that glaucoma affects 3 million people in the United States and half of them are unaware of their condition? In the United States alone, glaucoma is the second largest cause of blindness. If you have a family history of glaucoma or are over 65, your chances of getting glaucoma are higher than the rest of the population. The dangerous thing about glaucoma that youreye doctor in Wilmington, NC wants you to know, is that glaucoma sneaks up on you.

How Glaucoma Sneaks Up on You

Glaucoma comes in a variety of forms, but all forms involve damage to the optical nerve in the back of the eye. Aqueous humor is the fluid that normally drains out of the eye through a mesh-like canal. Fluids build up and produce pressure if this duct becomes clogged. The excessive pressure might injure the visual nerve by “pushing” on it. The insidious thing about glaucoma is that you won’t even know it’s happening. Over time, peripheral vision is compromised first, followed by a loss in central vision, and blindness can result if not treated early. This condition progressively damages your eyesight to the point that you can go blind if it is left untreated.

Reducing Risk of Glaucoma

The risk of developing glaucoma may be lessened through certain lifestyle changes, including:

  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Maintain a nutritious diet high in carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamins A and D, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Exercise for 30 to 40 minutes each day, per physician’s advice
  • Control diabetes
  • Give up smoking
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Be aware of medication side effects that may increase risk
  • Wear sunglasses or transition prescription eyeglasses outdoors.
  • Wear protective eyewear when participating in sports

Treatment For Glaucoma

Traditional therapies include eye drops, laser therapy, and surgery, which may be necessary if peripheral vision continues to deteriorate. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your Wilmington eye doctor will be able to provide certain treatment options, but reversal of glaucoma is not possible. That is why it’s so important to diagnose glaucoma as soon as it can be detected.

Because glaucoma strikes without warning and causes no discomfort, seeing an eye doctor to check forglaucoma in Wilmington, NC is imperative. Although glaucoma cannot be prevented, glaucoma-related blindness can be avoided with early identification and treatment.

Best Ways to Prevent Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious, degenerative eye disease that often leads to partial or full blindness. The sad thing is that the test for glaucoma is available whenever you visit your eye doctor in Wilmington. If your eye doctor determines that you have glaucoma, treatment is available. Of course, the best thing is to prevent glaucoma from occurring in the first place. Here are the best ways to prevent glaucoma.

Monitor and Handle High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of developing glaucoma. If you have high blood pressure, but sure to follow your doctor’s orders for treatment and don’t let your blood pressure get out of control.

Get Tested Regularly

Glaucoma is not reversible, but it can often be halted in its progression if diagnosed early enough. Be sure to get regular eye exams and always take advantage of the glaucoma test on every visit.

Know Your Risk Factors

Certain people have a higher risk of developing glaucoma. If you are over the age of 60, are of Asian or Hispanic descent, or are black, you should be especially vigilant and consider getting more frequent tests for glaucoma.

Avoid Eye Injuries

Eye trauma and injuries can increase the chances of developing glaucoma later in life. Wear safety goggles when participating in hobbies like woodworking, where particles could enter the eye. When playing sports, always wear eye protective gear.

Consider Alternative Medication

Certain prescription medications can raise your odds of getting glaucoma, too. If your prescription medication has such a side effect, talk to your doctor about an alternative.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is linked to a higher incidence of glaucoma. Consider starting a healthy nutrition and exercise routine to prevent glaucoma.

The very best thing you can do to prevent glaucoma is to have regular eye exams. Contact us today to schedule your next visit.


Does Glaucoma Always Lead to Blindness?  

Glaucoma is an eye disease that develops slowly, over time. Often, there are no symptoms, which is why your eye doctor in Wilmington makes sure you get a glaucoma test with every visit. But if you already have glaucoma, you may be worried about your prospects regarding your vision. Does glaucoma always lead to blindness?

Glaucoma Almost Always Reduces Vision

There’s no getting around it. Glaucoma almost always reduces vision. The amount of vision that is lost due to glaucoma varies depending on when the disease was caught and what treatments were done. The Johns Hopkins Institute report that about 5% of certain persons with glaucoma will lose their ability to read standard print. Because glaucoma affects people differently, certain other people may have higher chances of losing partial vision. Furthermore, about 15% of people who develop glaucoma will end up losing the ability to read in one eye. This will affect their depth perception, since vision in both eyes is needed to discern distance. In turn, this loss of vision will likely lead to a loss of the person’s driver’s license, since they may not be able to pass a vision test even with corrective lenses.

Avoiding Glaucoma is the Best Option

The best option is to avoid getting glaucoma to begin with. This means reducing the risks that can lead to glaucoma. The first thing to do is to have regular eye exams so that you can be checked for signs of glaucoma. These tests are quick, painless and included with a standard eye exam at Paul Vision Institute.

Treating Glaucoma

If you do have glaucoma, your eye doctor in Wilmington may be able to halt its progression. This would be done by reducing the pressure inside the eye through a range of treatments.

For help with your glaucoma and to learn more about glaucoma prevention, please contact us today.


Does Glaucoma Ever Return?  

Glaucoma is a serious condition that can lead to blindness. The insidious nature of glaucoma is that it often has no symptoms until vision loss has occurred. This is why your Wilmington eye doctor always conducts a test for glaucoma at every visit.

What is Glaucoma?

Physically, glaucoma is a build-up of fluid pressure in the eye. Your eye has fluid called aqueous humor, which flows through a channel. When that channel is blocked or narrowed, the fluid can’t pass through as it should. This creates pressure that inhibits the optic nerve from functioning properly. This is what causes the vision loss associated with glaucoma.

What Causes Glaucoma?

Several different factors can cause glaucoma. While glaucoma primarily affects older people, not all elderly people develop glaucoma. So old age is a factor, but not a cause.

Other things have been identified as high-risk factors for glaucoma, including:

  • Systemic inflammation
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Nearsighted or farsighted
  • Diabetes
  • Certain prescription medications like prednisone
  • Eye trauma
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Sickle cell anemia

How is Glaucoma Treated?

Glaucoma can be treated with one or multiple treatments, available through your eye doctor. These treatments may include eye drops, oral medication, management of underlying conditions such as diabetes and laser surgery. The treatments available to any particular patient will depend upon the individual circumstances as well as the stage of glaucoma that they are in.

Can Glaucoma Ever Return?

After treatment, it’s important that the patient have regular eye checkups, because glaucoma can return. This is especially true if underlying conditions like heart disease or diabetes still exist. It’s also important to note that if surgery was used the first time, it may not be possible a second time.

Because glaucoma is such an insidious disease with few symptoms, your best option is to visit your eye doctor as often as recommended. For more information about glaucoma tests, please contact us.


Alternative Therapies for Glaucoma and Their Limitations

Glaucoma is well-known to lead to blindness if left untreated. However, even though this eye disease has no known cure, treatment can slow the progression of the condition for many years. While effective treatments are totally accessible at the eye doctor, many patients take the route of seeking alternative therapies. Here is a look at some of the commonly touted alternative treatment options for glaucoma and their actual limitations.


Certain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta carotene, or zinc have been examined as potential agents to help with managing glaucoma. However, no studies have established whether using antioxidants can actually help prevent the trademark vision loss that is associated with glaucoma. Make sure you get ample antioxidants in your diet to support your vision but trust your eye doctor for actual guidance to help slow progression and lower your risks of vision loss.


Marijuana has been shown to lower eye pressure, which is one of the most noteworthy traits of glaucoma. However, the relief of the eye pressure caused by glaucoma is only temporary after using marijuana, and using marijuana can obviously come along with several side effects and is still illegal in most states.


Acupuncture has been a well-known form of alternative therapy for a number of ailments, including glaucoma. Some suggest that acupuncture may help to lower eye pressure related to glaucoma, but no official studies have been done to prove these suggestions are accurate.

Trust an Eye Doctor for Glaucoma Treatment in Wilmington

If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, trusting your eye doctor’s advice is ever-important. While some alternative therapies have shown promise for glaucoma, most have not been effectively studied through clinical trials or established as a viable treatment. Reach out to us at the Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington to schedule an appointment to discuss glaucoma treatment.

An In-Depth Look at the Risk Factors Associated with Glaucoma

Glaucoma is estimated to affect as many as three million people in the United States alone. Unfortunately, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss. Here is a look at some of the primary risk factors of glaucoma to get to know.


Glaucoma is known to affect people no matter their age. However, open-angle glaucoma is more related to age; it tends to be more of a risk the older you get and is more prevalent in people over the age of 60. As you get older, the optic nerve can be more vulnerable to problems that lead to glaucoma.


Individuals who are of African or Latino descent may be at an increased risk of glaucoma. While people of all ethnicities can have glaucoma, individuals from these groups should be even more vigilant about monitoring for symptoms and having periodic screenings with an eye doctor.

Family History

While glaucoma is not necessarily considered a genetic eye disease, there may be a slightly elevated risk if a member of your immediate family has been diagnosed. Genetic factors seem to play a role in most forms of glaucoma. If one of your parents, a sibling, or even a grandparent was diagnosed, be on the lookout for symptoms with your own vision.


Certain lifestyle factors can heighten your risks of glaucoma, such as:

  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Not eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • Smoking or being around secondhand smoke

If you believe you are at risk of glaucoma already due to other factors, making lifestyle changes to lower your risks can be even more important.

Talk to an Eye Doctor in Wilmington About Glaucoma

While glaucoma can be a worrisome eye health condition, proactive treatment can make a big difference in the effect on your visual capabilities. If you believe you are at high risk of glaucoma, reach out to us at the Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington, NC to schedule an appointment.

Can Glaucoma Be Reversed?

Affecting nearly 3 million people in the U.S., glaucoma is one of the most serious eye diseases and is a leading cause of blindness. Since there is no pain associated with the onset of glaucoma, many people do not realize they have it until it is in its later stages. Caused by increased pressure within the eye that damages the optic nerve, many who have glaucoma wonder if it is a condition that can be reversed. In many cases, the answer is both yes and no.

Can Glaucoma be Reversed?

For this question, the answer is no. Once a person is diagnosed with glaucoma, there is currently no cure for the condition so that it can be reversed, and no way to undo the damage already done in terms of vision loss. However, that does not mean a patient should lose hope.

Reversing the Underlying Cause

While it may not be possible to reverse glaucoma itself, it is however quite possible to reverse the underlying cause that leads to the condition, namely the increased eye pressure. To do so, an ophthalmologist can examine a patient’s eyes, measure the pressure being placed on the optic nerve, and then prescribe eye drops that help fluid drain from the eyes, thus reducing the pressure. For some patients, oral medications such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may be used in conjunction with eye drops. In extremely severe cases, laser surgery can be used to open clogged channels within the eyes to allow for proper fluid drainage, or an eye surgeon can insert small drainage tubes to help lower eye pressure.

Since detecting glaucoma in its early stages is the key to avoiding serious problems later on, schedule an exam as soon as possible with your eye doctor, especially if you are experiencing vision loss or other issues.


Clearing the Fog: Myths About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is widely recognized in optometry as the top cause of blindness, and this condition is common in the United States with more than three million sufferers. In order to better understand glaucoma as a major eye health condition, it is important that you are not misled by myths and misunderstandings.

Myth: Glaucoma only affects people of certain ethnic groups.

While it is true that glaucoma can be more prevalent among African Americans and Hispanic Americans, the condition can affect anyone. If you are of African or Hispanic ethnicity, it is a good idea to work closely with your eye doctor to monitor for problems, but everyone should discuss their individual risks with an eye doctor regardless of ethnicity.

Myth: Blindness caused by glaucoma can be reversed.

Even though there are treatments available that can potentially slow the progression of glaucoma, there is no cure, and, unfortunately, blindness related to glaucoma is not something that is reversible. This is why it is so critical to be vigilant about your eye health and regular eye exams if you believe you could be at risk.

Myth: You can’t get glaucoma if you don’t smoke.

It is no secret that people who smoke are at a heightened risk of glaucoma. However, it is a common myth that if you do not smoke or you are no around people who do smoke, you can’t get glaucoma. Even though smoking and glaucoma are obviously related, other factors contribute to the development of eye disease as well. A few other factors can include genetics, age, and even a history of taking certain types of medications. Therefore, you can be at risk of glaucoma development even if you have never been a smoker.

Schedule an Appointment with a Wilmington Eye doctor

Your vision means a lot to your quality of life, so anything that poses a threat cannot be ignored. Reach out to us at the Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington, NC if you would like to talk more about your risks of developing glaucoma.