If you are a Glaucoma patient in the Jacksonville area, you will be interested in reading the information on this page. There are almost two and a half million people that have glaucoma. Most of the people living with glaucoma do not realize that they have this eye disease because they feel no pain. This is precisely the reason that glaucoma is often called the sneak-thief of sight. This terrible eye disease will literally steal your vision without you even knowing what is happening. This is another reason why you will frequently hear ophthalmologists tell the aging population that regular eye exams are very important.
American Academy of Ophthalmology Glaucoma Statement
“According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older have glaucoma”.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve and causes vision loss, often without warning and symptoms. In most cases this glaucoma vision damage is due to an increased pressure inside the eye.
Damage to the optic nerve can occur when the pressure within the eye increases, usually due to a build-up of aqueous fluid inside the eye. This leads to the development of blind spots in our field of vision. However, damage may occur without elevation of the intra-ocular pressure. Conversely, the pressure may at times be elevated without damaging the optic nerve. This is a condition known as Ocular Hypertension. Blind spots in the field of vision usually go undetected by the individual until the optic nerve is significantly damaged, and a great loss of peripheral or central vision has occurred. A Visual Field evaluation can detect glaucomatous damage in its very early stages. If the disease is untreated, the optic nerve may be damaged to a point that irreversible blindness will result.
Risk Factors For Glaucoma
Although anyone can get glaucoma, some people have a higher risk. Those with greater risk include:
- A family history of glaucoma
- Eye injuries
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Use of cortisone drugs (steroids)
- People in these groups should have their first eye check no later than the age of 35. For most people, it is recommended to have an eye check for glaucoma by the age of 40.
A glaucoma test usually includes the following:
- Optic nerve check with an ophthalmoscope
- Eye pressure check (tonometry)
- Visual field assessment if needed
If Glaucoma worries you and you have a family history, please do not hesitate to contact us for an eye exam. The doctors at Clay Eye Physicians will help you diagnose glaucoma and help you determine a treatment protocol to control the intraocular pressure. We take great pride in helping patients limit the amount of damage that Glaucoma can do to your eyes.