Glaucoma is a major cause of vision loss worldwide. More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma, nearly 50% of which do not even know they have the disease.
Glaucoma is a result of pressure damage to the optic nerve. With a damaged nerve the eye cannot see. Unfortunately most forms of glaucoma present with no noticeable symptoms but undiagnosed, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss.
Early Recognition of Glaucoma is Important to Prevent Loss of Vision
While it is advisable that everyone over 40 have a glaucoma dilation exam there are some groups that may be at higher risk:
- Patients who have elevated ocular pressure during an eye exam
- Patients who are farsighted or nearsighted
- Patients with Asian, African or Hispanic heritage.
- Patients who have a history of direct eyeball injury.
- Patients with certain health conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation or strokes).
If you are over 40, or you have risk factors and you are under 40, a comprehensive eye examination by an ophthalmologist is recommended. This examination may require dilation, examination of the optic nerve, computerized scans and visual fields and other tests.
If glaucoma is diagnosed management depends on the type and severity of the condition.
Glaucoma Treatment Options
The most common treatment for glaucoma is long acting prescription eyedrops. Surgery and laser treatments could be necessary for more severe cases.
There are many misconceptions regarding cannabis and glaucoma treatment. Marijuana only temporarily lowers eye pressure and is not recommended considering the long acting benefit of established glaucoma drops.
Westchester Eye Surgeons are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and other eye conditions. Schedule an appointment to speak with one of our skilled eye surgeons if you have concerns about glaucoma or would like to have a thorough exam.
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