Many people with early stages of glaucoma do not experience any symptoms. Unfortunately, this condition can cause serious symptoms if left undiagnosed and untreated. It can even lead to loss of vision or blindness. Most people tend to seek treatment when they start noticing changes in their peripheral or side vision.
Is It Possible to Detect Glaucoma in Its Early Stages?
According to studies, at least 50 percent of people with this eye condition do not know that they have it, which is worrying. Fortunately, it is possible to detect glaucoma in its early stages through a dilated eye examination. With early detection and intervention, it is possible to control it through surgery or medication.
What Is Glaucoma?
This describes a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which carries visual signals to the brain. A comprehensive eye exam includes a check for glaucoma, which stems from elevated pressure in the eye. This condition can cause major vision loss without any warning symptoms or signs.
Are you less than 40 years old and lack risk factors for glaucoma? If so, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you should get a comprehensive eye exam every five to ten years. These examinations should include screening for glaucoma. As you age, you should undergo more frequent screenings.
But if you are at risk of developing glaucoma, the AAO suggests comprehensive eye exams, including screening for glaucoma, according to the following schedule:
Every one to three years for people aged 40 to 54 years.
Every one to two years for those aged 55 to 64 years.
Every six to twelve months for people aged 65 years and above.
Depending on your overall eye health and level of risk, your eye doctor may recommend more frequent exams and screenings.
Those Most at Risk for Glaucoma
If you are middle-aged and older, your chances of developing this condition increase as you age. Also, you are at increased risk if you have a family history of this condition. Furthermore, African Americans are at increased risk of getting open-angle glaucoma. High eye pressure can also increase the chances of getting glaucoma.
Others at risk for glaucoma include:
Those living with diabetes.
People who had eye surgery or an eye injury.
Those with hypertension.
You may have normal eye pressure even if you have diabetes. Therefore, the measurement of eye pressure should not be the only test used to check for glaucoma. This is the reason eye doctors combine several tests before diagnosing this serious eye condition.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
The first thing you need to understand is that there are several types of glaucoma. These include pigmentary, secondary, normal-tension, open-angle, and angle-closure glaucoma. If you have open-angle glaucoma, you may not experience any symptoms. They usually occur during the late stages of the disease.
This is the reason experts consider it the vision sneak thief. The main symptom is usually loss of peripheral or side vision. Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma are more obvious and usually develop faster. These include eye pain, seeing halos around lights, an eye that appears lazy, vision loss, and redness.
To learn more about glaucoma, visit Grin Eye Care at our offices in Leawood, Olathe, or Lawrence, Kansas. We also have offices in Raymore, Independence, and Kansas City, Missouri. You can call (913) 829-5511 today to schedule an appointment.