One of the most important reasons why regular eye exams with an optometrist is necessary is to prevent known eye problems such as glaucoma. Glaucoma affects almost 3 million Americans and is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Unfortunately, a cure for glaucoma is yet to be found so the best way to avoid its debilitating and long-term effects is with early detection and prevention.
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month so there’s no better time of the year to learn more about this eye disease than now. Let our team of optometrists and eye care professionals at Vienna Eyecare Center explain what glaucoma is as well as ways to detect and prevent this common eye problem.
What Is Glaucoma?
Your eye doctor can tell you that glaucoma is an umbrella term for a number of eye diseases that affect your optic nerves. The most common type of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, presents no early symptoms. Because of this, experts estimate that about 50% of people who have it don’t even know that they have it. Thankfully, glaucoma can be diagnosed early with regular eye exams.
Who Is at Risk?
Glaucoma can affect anyone. However, certain groups of people have higher risk of developing symptoms than others. These groups include African-American people who are 40 years old and above. People 60 years and older also have higher risks as well as those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes. Open-angle glaucoma is also hereditary so your family history can also put you at risk for this eye condition.
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
The effects of glaucoma can be lessened with proper eye care habits. Eye drops or other oral medicines can also be helpful. Sometimes, surgery may be needed to relieve some pressure from your optic nerves and reduce its effects. Talk to your doctor about managing the symptoms of glaucoma and follow a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and proper exercise, especially if you’re at high risk for this condition.
Get your eyes regularly tested for glaucoma with the help of our doctors at Vienna Eyecare Center. Give us a call at (703) 938-7633 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today. We serve patients in Fairfax and other nearby areas in VA.