Glaucoma is a condition that affects 250,000 Canadians and is the second biggest cause of vision loss. There are many different types of glaucoma and they’re all defined by the damage done to the optic nerve. It can start off fairly slowly and worsens overtime. It is important that you see your eye care professional regularly to be tested as early detection is extremely important with glaucoma, preventing too much permanent damage.
Who is at risk?
Everyone has a risk of getting glaucoma, however some have higher chances than others. You have increased chances of getting glaucoma if:
– You are 40 years or older
– You are female
– If you have a family history of glaucoma
– If you are nearsighted
How do I prevent it?
You cannot exactly prevent getting glaucoma as there are many risk factors, but you can minimize your chances. To lower your chances of getting glaucoma:
-Visit your eye care professional on a regular basis to be tested
-Try to protect your eyes from infection (wash your hands before touching your eyes, do not share eye cosmetics)
– If you have high blood pressure or diabetes make sure you’re keeping it well managed
There are many different types of glaucoma and many of these can occur without any symptoms, this is why it is imperative you see your eye doctor regularly to be tested. Experiencing increased vision loss could be a sign of glaucoma, be sure to see your doctor to have it look at it.
Acute closed-angle glaucoma can have strong onset symptoms that include headaches, blurred vision, severe eye pain, red eyes and nausea. If you are experiencing these symptoms see your eye doctor immediately, if they are unavailable go to an emergency right away to help you save your eyesight.
Your eye doctor will check your eyes with a series of tests to check for glaucoma. The most common test to check for glaucoma is a non-contact tonometer (NCT). The NCT test involves a puff of air being directed toward your eye, this burst of air measures the eye’s internal pressure.
Although there is no cure for glaucoma it can be treated and can help prevent more damage. Your eye doctor will most likely prescribe you eye drops to help relieve some of the pressure, however if your case is severe or the eye drops are not doing what they’re supposed to your eye doctor may recommend laser surgery.