Glaucoma Awareness

Did you know that glaucoma is the most common cause of vision loss in this country? All of us at Yardley Eye Care want to make sure our patients know about the signs and symptoms of the disease, as well as the treatments available for those who develop it. If it’s caught early enough, glaucoma can be controlled in almost all cases, delaying or eliminating the danger of loss of vision.

Optometrist Explains Glaucoma Risk Factors

While it’s possible for anyone, at any age, to develop glaucoma, some people are more likely depending on certain history and lifestyle factors. According to Dr. Bryan Cohen, our optometrist, you’re more likely to develop the disease if you:

  • Are African-American, Asian, or of Hispanic descent
  • Have a family history of the disease
  • Have diabetes
  • Are over 60
  • Are extremely nearsighted

Causes of Glaucoma

The inside of your eye is filled with a fluid, with enough to equalize the pressure from outside and inside the eyeball. This fluid circulates in and out of the eye, much like the water flows into a swimming pool and out the filter. In almost all cases of glaucoma, something blocks the drainage ports that allow the fluid to drain, causing it to back up and causing pressure inside the eye. This increased pressure damages the optic nerve in the back of the eye.

In some rare cases, patients have sensitive optic nerves that are damaged with normal pressure, or they suffer from optic nerve damage from other causes.

Diagnosing and Treatment

The only way to diagnose glaucoma is during a comprehensive optometry examination. If our optometrist finds signs of developing the disease, the first treatment is almost always prescription eye drops designed to lower the pressure inside your eyes. More advanced cases call for other treatments like those using lasers or surgical procedures. Eye exams are key, though, so if you haven’t had one in at least a year, call our office at 215-369-3937 to schedule an appointment today.

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