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.

Antioxidants

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

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

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.

Age

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.

Ethnicity

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.

Lifestyle

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.

Does Glaucoma Always Lead to Blindness?

Glaucoma is a disease that affects the health of the eyes and—eventually—the vision of the eyes. It’s important to distinguish between these two, because it’s possible to have clear vision while your eye health is being compromised by the advancement of glaucoma. This means that a person may have no symptoms of glaucoma at all, allowing this disease to silently worsen to the point of blindness. This is why your Wilmington optometrist gives you a glaucoma test during every appointment, even if you come in for an entirely different reason.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma progresses over a long period of time. Pressure builds up behind the eye, causing a buildup of fluid. This buildup puts pressure on the optic nerve, disrupting the signals between your eyes and your brain. Without the flow of those signals, the capacity for vision is lost. In other words, the patient goes blind. Glaucoma can technically affect people of all ages, but it’s most common in those over 40.

Untreated Glaucoma Leads to Blindness

Unless glaucoma is treated, it almost always leads to blindness eventually. Vision loss will progress slowly over a period of years, but the loss will be permanent and 100% unless the disease is treated. At any stage during this progression, the disease may be halted or at least slowed in its advancement toward blindness. However, this is an outcome that doesn’t necessarily have to happen. With routine testing for glaucoma at your vision center in Wilmington, in coordination with any necessary treatment, glaucoma doesn’t have to lead to total blindness.

Each time you visit Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington, you’ll be tested for glaucoma. The test is fast, painless and non-invasive. Yet, this simple test aids in the prevention of the devastating and preventable disease of glaucoma.