5 Things You Didn’t Know About Glaucoma

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on January 9, 2023

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Although glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the developing world, awareness still lags. That lack of awareness could have devastating consequences in the future.

Why? Because there are already more than 2.7 million people in the United States with glaucoma, and that figure is expected to double by 2050. But blindness from glaucoma is not an inevitable outcome.

These helpful facts can help you catch glaucoma early, get treatment and prevent permanent vision loss.

  1. Anyone can have Glaucoma.

Glaucoma is most common in people aged 45 and up, with the highest numbers after age 60. Those at even greater risk include:

Although we tend to think of glaucoma as affecting the elderly, even infants and children can develop certain types of early-onset glaucoma. That’s why annual eye examinations are vital for every member of the family.

  1. There may be no warning signs.

The most common form of glaucoma, called open-angle glaucoma, comes on painlessly and with no symptoms, or symptoms so subtle that they go unnoticed. It can start with gradual loss of peripheral vision. People with this type of glaucoma often compensate by pivoting their head without even realizing they’re doing it.

  1. Glaucoma damage is irreversible.

Glaucoma puts pressure on the optic nerve that sends visual signals to the brain. Once that damage occurs, it cannot be undone. That’s why it is so vital to detect glaucoma before the damage causes symptoms that can’t be relieved.

  1. Glaucoma is easily detected in an exam.

Your eye doctor can diagnose glaucoma through a routine annual eye exam. During the examination, the doctor will screen for high eye pressure that can indicate glaucoma. They will also dilate the pupils, which provides a clearer view of the interior structures of the eye, including damage to the optic nerve.

  1. Blindness from glaucoma is preventable.

While glaucoma is not curable, treatment can help prevent damage to the optic nerve. An eye doctor can prescribe oral or topical medications and/or use traditional or laser surgery to bring down dangerous eye pressure.

If you have a family history of glaucoma or fall into one of the other high-risk groups, do your vision a favor: Get an eye exam with dilation once a year, or any time you experience visual symptoms.

Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients attain freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a thorough eye exam or visit MissouriEye.com to learn more about our services.


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