Of all the conditions that can affect your eyes, glaucoma is one of the scariest. That’s because it can take your vision before you even know you have it.
Its ability to cause vision loss without displaying any symptoms gives it the nickname the silent thief of sight. Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma and what you can do to ensure it does not steal your vision!
Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of vision loss in the world. It is a condition that causes pressure in your eyes, called intraocular pressure or IOP, to build to dangerous levels.
As this pressure builds, it presses on your optic nerve and can eventually damage your optic nerve. Harm to your optic nerve can cause vision loss.
Your optic nerve connects your eye to your brain. It sends nerve impulses from your eyes to your brain based on the light that hits your retina.
If your optic nerve sustains too much damage, it cannot send these signals. When that happens, light entering your eye can no longer get to your brain.
Once enough damage to your optic has occurred, there is no going back. If glaucoma has damaged it so much that nerve signals cannot travel down it, you cannot fix your eyesight.
Glaucoma is the term given to elevated intraocular pressure. This pressure build-up is usually caused by blockages in the drainage network of your eyes.
These drains can become pinched or closed off for various reasons. If eye fluid is unable to exit through the drains, IOP builds, and you have glaucoma.
Usually, these blocks cause pressure to build very slowly over time. That’s why you don’t know you have glaucoma until symptoms appear. The only exception to this is acute angel-closure glaucoma which comes on rapidly and is a medical emergency.
The most common type of glaucoma does not have any symptoms. That is where the name the silent thief of sight comes from.
It may be building pressure in your eyes without you knowing it. Once glaucoma symptoms develop, it is already too late.
The only thing you can do at this point is lower the pressure in your eye. Reducing your IOP can prevent more damage from occurring. It is the only way to avoid complete loss of vision.
One less common type of glaucoma does have symptoms. They occur rapidly, and if they do, you must seek immediate medical attention.
These symptoms include:
If you suddenly experience these symptoms, you need immediate medical attention. This type of glaucoma, acute angle-closure glaucoma, is a medical emergency.
There is no way to prevent or reverse glaucoma. Unfortunately, once you have it, you have it. But, you can limit the damage it does to your eyesight with medication and, in some cases, surgery.
The only way to know you have glaucoma before it begins to take your vision is to have an eye doctor diagnose you with it. The best prevention against glaucoma and vision loss is regular eye exams.
Your eye doctor will be able to tell if you have glaucoma during an eye exam. Then, if it gets diagnosed early enough, you can manage it and prevent total vision loss.
Without regular eye exams, you may not know you have glaucoma until it is too late. Are you concerned about glaucoma? Schedule an eye exam at Advanced Eye Care, SC, in New Lenox, IL.
Ensure glaucoma does not take your eyesight! Have regular eye exams to prevent vision loss.