WhirLocal Salem

(108 reviews)

(503) 581-4554
222 Commercial St NE PMB 2303
Salem, Oregon 97301

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is a condition that creates pressure in the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma can cause irreversible loss of vision around the edge of the eye.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It affects an estimated 3 million Americans of all ages. Unfortunately, about 50% of these individuals are unaware they are living with glaucoma.

If it is left untreated, glaucoma can lead to total blindness. When treatment is received in enough time, it can halt the progression of the disease.

Signs of Glaucoma

Glaucoma causes peripheral vision loss. The first thing a person may notice is dark patches around the edge of their eyes. Those with a later stage of the disease may experience tunnel vision, and eventually total blindness if left untreated.

Causes of Glaucoma

The optic nerve is located in the back of the eye. It takes visual information from the eye to the brain. When a person has glaucoma, they experience excess fluid in the eye that puts too much pressure on the optic nerve. As a result, a person might experience permanent damage to the nerve fibers.

There are several risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing the disease. Risk factors include, but are not limited to:

  • A family history of glaucoma
  • Diagnosis of diabetes, hypertension, or extreme nearsightedness
  • Being over 60 years of age
  • Physical injury to the eyes
  • Other eye-related conditions such as thin corneas, retinal detachment, and eye inflammation

Treatment Options

The best way to treat glaucoma is early intervention. For this reason, annual eye exams are encouraged to quickly diagnose glaucoma and increase positive outcomes. If caught in enough time, individuals can avoid irreversible vision loss.

There are four main types of glaucoma. The most common type is primary open-angle, but you can also be diagnosed with angle-closure glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, or normal-tension glaucoma.

Treatment will depend on the type of glaucoma you have. In general, treatment may include medicated eye drops, oral medications, and laser or traditional surgery.

Glaucoma is a serious condition that affects the optic nerve. But you don’t have to live with irreversible damage. Getting diagnosed as soon as possible is the best way to combat the disease and find a treatment plan that works for you.

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