A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Over 40? A Glaucoma Exam May Prevent Blindness

by Damion Wasylow 12 January 2021 12:15 PM

woman in her 40s getting an eye exam
is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness. Called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma often presents no symptoms at all until substantial and irreparable damage to the optic nerve has already occurred. Early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, however, can help protect your eyes against serious vision loss. And that starts with a comprehensive eye exam.

Regularly scheduled eye exams are always important for maintaining good eye health, and they become particularly critical at age 40. The Mayo Clinic recommends a comprehensive eye exam every two to four years for adults in their 40’s. The recommended frequency increases to every one to three years for people with identified glaucoma risk factors.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

While glaucoma can affect anyone, the following factors – alone or in combination – increase your likelihood of developing the condition.

  • Age 40 or older
  • African American, Hispanic or Asian heritage
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • High eye pressure
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
  • History of ocular injury or a certain type of eye surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Long-term steroids treatment

Diagnosing Glaucoma

Nearly three million people in the United States have glaucoma, and that number is expected to rise dramatically in coming years. Studies indicate that nearly half of people with glaucoma don’t even know they have it, due largely to the fact that up to 50% of optic nerve tissue needs to be damaged before vision changes are noticeable for the individual.

A comprehensive eye exam is critical for identifying and diagnosing glaucoma before symptoms are present. During the exam, your eye doctor will perform a series of tests to determine the overall quality of your vision, assess eye function and evaluate your complete eye health, including identifying any possible glaucoma development.

Glaucoma Treatment

While no treatment can reverse damage done to the optic nerve by glaucoma, treatment can slow or prevent further damage. Prescription eyedrops to reduce intraocular pressure are the most common treatment.

Laser treatments, such as argon laser trabeculoplasty and selective laser trabeculoplasty are often used to treat glaucoma in patients that do not respond well to drop therapy. Surgical procedures may also be recommended for patients with severe glaucoma. 

If you’re 40-years-old and have not had a comprehensive eye exam in recent years, do so now, especially if you have any specific risk factors for glaucoma. It just might save your vision. 

Contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300 to schedule your appointment.



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