Glaucoma is an eye disease that gets a lot of publicity, and for good reason! Glaucoma is one of the most commonly encountered eye conditions and can leave you completely blind if not treated.
What Is It?
Glaucoma is a condition that causes death of the optic nerve, which carries what you see from your eye to your brain. The optic nerve dies in a predictable pattern and damages the part of the nerve that is responsible for transmitting our peripheral vision first. Glaucoma is typically caused by increased eye pressure, which can occur due to a variety of reasons. It can sometimes occur without increased eye pressure, which is why “glaucoma screenings” that consist of eye pressure measurement alone are NOT a good substitute for a dilated exam.
How Do I Know I Don’t Have It?
Unfortunately, glaucoma often goes undetected for years or even decades because there are no symptoms until the disease is in end-stage. A dilated eye exam, pressure measurement, visual field analysis, and other sophisticated tests are the only way to detect glaucoma. This is why it is so crucial to have yearly eye exams: the sooner we catch it, the sooner we can begin treatment!
What Can I Do To Protect Myself?
Yearly eye exams are the only way to monitor the onset and progression of glaucoma. Every person should have an eye exam every year, even if you have great vision!
Dr. Canaan Montgomery is an optometrist in Paducah, Kentucky. As an eye doctor in Paducah, he provides eye care for glaucoma and other eye diseases, pediatrics, and general eye exams.