Diagnosing and Preventative Care for Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that affects the optic nerve. The optic nerve is vital for good vision since it sends signals to all parts of the eye. Glaucoma happens when too much pressure is exerted on the optic nerve. It can affect people of all ages, but mainly it affects people over the age of 60. It happens gradually hence the importance of routine eye checkups. If it is diagnosed early enough, the symptoms can be managed to slow down the progression.


Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma


Glaucoma presents in two major stages. The first stage, known as open-angle glaucoma, is characterized by blind spots, patchy vision, especially on the sides or in the central. It happens in both eyes. In the more advanced stage, the patient experiences tunnel vision. 

Severe glaucoma, otherwise known as angle-closure glaucoma, is characterized by eye pain, severe headaches, eye redness and puffiness, blurred vision, and partial blindness. The patient may also see halos around lights and experience nausea and vomiting.


What Are the Risk Factors for Glaucoma?

  • A family history of glaucoma.

  • Be aged 60 and above.

  • Thin cornea.

  • Abnormal optic nerve.

  • Diabetes.

  • Eye surgery complication.

  • Hypertension.

  • High myopia.

  • Sickle cell anemia.

  • Excessive use of corticosteroids.

  • Eye injury.

  • High eye pressure.


Other Types of Glaucoma


Children can be born with congenital glaucoma. It can present at birth or later in life. If the optic nerve is damaged in a child’s eye, then it could result in glaucoma. Some activities such as jogging, swimming, skiing, and horse riding can exert pressure on the eye. The wind hitting the eyes stir pigment granules in the iris and deposit them in the trabecular meshwork. This results in pressure elevation that can cause glaucoma over time.


How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?


Glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss. Therefore, it is vital to keep up with routine checks, especially if you belong to the risk factor group. Glaucoma is a slowly progressing condition. This makes it hard to diagnose. The ophthalmologist will check for abnormal eye pressure. 

The eye drainage angle is also a key factor when diagnosing glaucoma. The peripheral and central vision is also examined for blind spots. The cornea is measured to determine its thickness. The results of these tests will let the ophthalmologist know if the patient is positive for glaucoma.


How Can You Prevent Glaucoma?


If you know that you belong to the high-risk group for glaucoma, you should adopt some preventive measures. To prevent glaucoma, eat healthy food, drink lots of water, keep a healthy weight, and keep off harmful drugs and substances. You must use UV-blocking sunglasses when spending time outside and avoid using too many corticosteroids in your prescriptions. 

If you are diabetic and hypertensive, watch your sugar levels closely and take foods rich in vitamins A, D, E, C, and omega-3 fatty acids to boost your vision. Exercise safely and regularly, and keep up with your dilated eye exams. Wear protective eye gear when using power tools, playing contact sports, and dealing with commercial chemicals.


To know more about glaucoma, visit Atlanta Eye Group at our offices in Atlanta and Kennesaw, Georgia. You can also call (770) 727-0772 to book an appointment today.

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