Glaucoma is one of the most dangerous eye diseases you can develop. Its nickname is the silent thief of sight, and for good reason.
Glaucoma can cause complete vision loss before you even know you have it. Often, when you notice glaucoma symptoms, it is too late, and you have permanent vision damage, if not loss.
Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma and find out what you can do to ensure you do not lose your eyesight to it.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that progresses over time. If it goes undetected, it can cause permanent and complete vision loss.
Glaucoma causes pressure in your eye or intraocular pressure (IOP) to build. This pressure takes your vision by damaging your optic nerve.
If the pressure gets high enough, it begins to press on your optic nerve. Over time as it continues to push on your optic nerve, the nerve gets damaged.
Your optic nerve handles sending light signals to your brain from your retina. Your brain then interprets the signals coming down the optic nerve and creates the images you see.
If your optic nerve gets so damaged that it can no longer send signals to your brain, you have vision loss. Once your optic nerve gets damaged like this, there is no going back. Optic nerve damage is irreversible.
That’s why you must maintain a healthy IOP. If not, you risk optic nerve damage and vision loss.
Can You Prevent Glaucoma?
There is no guaranteed way to prevent glaucoma because it is unclear what causes it. The best advice to keep your eyes healthy in general and keep your IOP levels low is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A clean, healthy diet, plenty of quality sleep, and exercise are excellent ways to help you maintain good health. Besides that, the only way to ensure you don’t lose your eyesight to glaucoma, even if you do develop it, is to have regular eye exams.
Your eye doctor can detect glaucoma in your eyes during a routine eye exam. The only way to guarantee you lose your vision if you have glaucoma is never to see your eye doctor.
How Do You Treat Glaucoma?
While there is no known way to prevent you from getting glaucoma, it is treatable if you have it. Unfortunately, you cannot get rid of glaucoma if you have it, but you can manage it and limit the damage it does to your optic nerve.
The available treatment options for glaucoma can help keep your IOP down. Reducing your IOP helps limit the damage to your optic nerve and eyesight due to glaucoma. Common glaucoma treatments include:
- Eye drops
- Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS)
- Laser surgery
- Oral medications
These treatments, among others, are all capable of keeping your IOP low. But the only way you can use these treatments to ensure you don’t lose your eyesight is to see your eye doctor regularly.
They will help you find the proper treatment or combination of treatments to maintain healthy IOP.
Are you concerned about glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Arizona in Glendale, AZ.
The only way to not lose your eyesight to glaucoma is to know that you have it and treat it appropriately. Don’t risk your vision. Get your eyes checked now!