How Glaucoma May Affect Your Vision
- Posted on: Apr 15 2018
Glaucoma is a vision condition that currently affects more than 2.5 million Americans. This age-related eye disease is characterized by an increase in intraocular pressure; the pressure within the eye becomes too high for the optic nerve to sustain. Because the optic nerve is a vital aspect of vision, untreated glaucoma is associated with vision loss. In fact, in the United States, a high percentage of cases of vision loss is attributed to glaucoma. For this reason, it is crucial to stay current with routine eye exams, especially if you have risk factors for this disease.
The visual symptoms of glaucoma occur so subtly at first that they may not even be noticed. Early on, changes in vision tend to localize in the peripheral. You can still observe objects in front of you, but to see areas located on either side may become difficult. Because we don’t typically pay much attention to peripheral vision, slight changes may be missed.
It may not be until an intermediate stage of glaucoma when the decline in peripheral vision becomes pronounced enough to cause concern. This progression in deterioration is still likely to remain at the outer edges of vision, leaving central vision intact. Central vision tends to fade over time as the condition of the eye progressively worsens under persistent pressure.
In recent years, we have experienced significant advances in the detection and treatment of glaucoma. Risks are better understood and provide us with a foundation for screening recommendations. Adults over the age of 40 are strongly encouraged to maintain yearly eye exams. Current screening protocol for intraocular pressure and observation of the optic nerve have made it possible to detect glaucoma 10 years earlier than older models of screening. This is important because, when treatment begins early, there is an excellent chance that vision loss can be prevented.
If you have a known risk of glaucoma, such as a family history of this condition, contact us in North Canton, Alliance, or Canfield. If you are not sure of your glaucoma risk, we would still love to see you. A comprehensive eye exam provides essential details of your overall eye health that can serve as a baseline for future screenings. Contact an office near you for an appointment.
Posted in: Glaucoma