Glaucoma is the name used for a group of eye diseases that can lead to a loss of vision. Because the condition has the potential to rob you of your sight, glaucoma testing is an important part of your routine eye exams.
Glaucoma develops when damage occurs to your optic nerve, which is actually a collection of more than 1 million nerve fibers that relay visual information from your eyes to your brain. Your optic nerve, located in the back of your eye, can sustain damage when pressure builds up in your eyes.
Fortunately, if glaucoma is caught early, you and your eye care professional can take important steps to protect your vision.
Here at Advanced Laser & Eye Center of Arizona, home of MyEyesToday.com, our eye care specialists are committed to taking the best possible care of your vision. With that in mind, our providers want to share important information with you about glaucoma, including warning signs you should never ignore.
There are several types of glaucoma, but the most common is open-angle glaucoma. Approximately 90% of glaucoma cases in the United States are open-angle glaucoma, according to the National Eye Institute.
Although anyone can develop glaucoma, your risk goes up if you have:
Regular eye exams are one of the best ways to take care of your eyes and your eyesight. Based on your glaucoma risk and other factors, your eye care provider can let you know how often you should schedule eye exams.
In its early stages, glaucoma typically doesn’t cause symptoms that you would notice. In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology refers to glaucoma as a “silent thief of sight.” That’s why it’s so important to have regular glaucoma testing during your routine eye check-ups. You could have glaucoma and not know it.
In its later stages, glaucoma may cause noticeable symptoms. Here are four signs you should never ignore:
Peripheral vision is your ability to see at the sides of your field of vision. Decrease in peripheral vision, especially on the inside of your vision field (toward your nose), is often one of the first signs of glaucoma.
Glaucoma may cause small areas of vision loss anywhere in your field of vision, especially your peripheral vision.
Less common types of glaucoma can cause eye pain or eye redness. They may also cause blurry vision, as well as headaches, nausea, or vomiting.
Glaucoma may cause you to see colorful, rainbow-type halos around lights and other bright objects that you’re looking at. It can also narrow your field of view and cause tunnel vision.
If you have any of these signs, see your eye care provider right away. Although glaucoma can’t be cured, treatments such as medicated eye drops, laser treatment, or surgery can help protect your sight. Early diagnosis can help save your vision and prevent blindness.
To set up an eye exam, call the nearest Advanced Laser & Eye Center of Arizona office nearest you — we’re located in Gilbert, Chandler, and Queen Creek, Arizona — or book an appointment online.