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.