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Identifying the Onset of Glaucoma

by dwasylow 13 July 2015 13:47 PM

eye-doctor-examination
Glaucoma is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness. More than three million Americans currently suffer from the disease, which progresses gradually, often with no early symptoms.

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, the pathway that carries images from the retina to the brain. Enough damage leads to blind spots, and as the damage increases, complete blindness. If glaucoma is not detected in the early stages, it can be too late.

So, if there are no early symptoms, how can you tell if you or a loved one is developing glaucoma?

The answer lies in having regular eye exams including glaucoma screenings. Proper screenings include eye pressure measurement, examination of the optic nerve, peripheral vision evaluation and review of corneal thickness.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends this routine screening schedule.

Age 20-29

Everyone – even those without any history of vision trouble – should have an eye exam at least once during this period. Young adults of African descent or those with a family history of glaucoma should be examined every 3-5 years.

Age 30-39

As we get a bit older, the frequency of eye exams should increase to at least twice during this period, or every 2-4 years for African-Americans and those with a family history of glaucoma.

Age 40-64

By age 40, everyone should be examined every 2-4 years.

Age 65+

Starting at 65, it’s wise to be examined every 1-2 years.

Optic nerve damage caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed, but early diagnosis gives you and your eye doctor treatment options to slow further damage. Prescription eye drops may help lower pressure within the eye. Laser treatments and surgical procedures are possibilities for patients who do not respond well to drop therapy.

Contact Gainesville Eye Physicians today to schedule your eye exam and glaucoma screening. Being proactive is the best way to preserve your vision.

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