Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glaucoma Can Be Treated If Detected Early Enough

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glaucoma Can Be Treated If Detected Early Enough

Article excerpt

Byline: David Hayes

Glaucoma, also known as the "silent thief of sight," is a leading cause of preventable blindness. The most common forms of glaucoma primarily affect the middle-aged and the elderly, but glaucoma does not discriminate and can affect people of all ages.

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes vision loss by damaging a part of the eye called the optic nerve. This nerve is responsible for sending images from your eyes to your brain. However, when glaucoma damages your optic nerve, those images are distorted, and vision becomes impaired and restricted. If not treated, glaucoma can cause permanent blindness.

According to Glaucoma Research Foundation, it is estimated that 3 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of those know they even have it. There are typically no symptoms to alert you to this disease and, sadly, once vision is lost, it is irreversible.

The most common form of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma, which is one of the main causes of blindness in the United States. In the early stages of primary open-angle glaucoma, there are no symptoms. It's important for people to know that glaucoma can be detected early - even before noticeable vision loss occurs.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent glaucoma. However, you can slow down the progression of this disease by getting an annual dilated eye exam and receiving treatment if required. In addition to your dilated exam, your ophthalmologist might also perform a series of other painless tests such as eye pressure measurement and a peripheral vision test. These tests, in addition to an examination by your physician, assess any changes in your vision and evaluate the overall health of your eyes. This will help your physician determine if you have an issue like glaucoma and allows them to develop the best course of treatment based on their findings.

If you are diagnosed with glaucoma early enough, glaucoma can often be controlled with eye drops. …

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