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What is Glaucoma?

happy elderly womanGlaucoma is a chronic disease that can potentially lead to blindness if is not detected and treated early enough. Because glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages when it is best treated, it’s recommended that everyone undergo a glaucoma test at every eye exam. If glaucoma is caught early on, then the odds of preventing blindness are much higher. Glaucoma is much more prevalent in older generations. Because of this, it’s also recommended that no matter how excellent your vision is, if you are over the age of forty, you should visit your eye doctor at least once a year.

What Happens With Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is essentially a condition where to much pressure is built up in the eye. If the pressure within the eye is not treated, then the high pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for transmitting the signals from the eye to the brain. If the optic nerve is adversely affected by the high pressure, then it stops working. That’s when blindness occurs.

The worsening damage to the optic nerve from the high-pressure buildup of fluid is irreversible and cannot be repaired. This damage can happen over a period of time. This is yet another reason to be tested and get treatment early. If glaucoma is detected when just half of the optic nerve is destroyed, then the condition may be somewhat controlled. However, the damage that’s already occurred to the optic nerve can never be undone.

How Glaucoma is Detected

There’s only one way for glaucoma to be detected, and that is through an in-patient eye exam. This test can detect if the pressure within the eye is within a normal range. The test is completely painless and non-invasive. It only takes a few minutes. Glaucoma can be detected by examining the visual fields of the patient, including an examination of the back of the eye to look at the optic disc which is the front part of the optic nerve.

Glaucoma can have different forms, such as not having any symptoms at all or other types which are less common and can start almost acutely and have a lot of pain. There’s no reason not to have your eyes tested for glaucoma and every reason to have them tested. Contact your eye doctor today to have your eyes tested. Thereafter, make sure you visit your eye doctor at least once every year.