• Glaucoma

    Are you experiencing problems with your peripheral or side vision? Do you have to turn your head to see what’s to your immediate right or left? It might be Glaucoma.

    Glaucoma is a serious condition that involves an elevation in pressure inside the eye caused by a build-up of excess fluid. Left untreated, this pressure can impair vision by causing irreversible damage to the optic nerve and, eventually, blindness. Glaucoma results in peripheral vision loss, and is an especially dangerous eye condition because it frequently progresses without obvious symptoms.

    There is no cure for glaucoma, although it can be treated. The damage to the optic nerve from glaucoma cannot be reversed. However, lowering the pressure in the eye can prevent further damage to the optic nerve and further peripheral vision loss.

    Still, early detection, appropriate and ongoing treatment, and the availability of specialized low vision and vision rehabilitation services can help people with glaucoma live productive and satisfying lives. Starting as early as age 35, a pressure check for glaucoma should be an essential part of your annual routine eye examination.

    Glaucoma at a Glance:

    • Affects more than 3 million people living in the United States.
    • Is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans.
    • Is caused by increased pressure in the eye due to a buildup of excess fluid.
    • Results in a loss of peripheral or side vision.
    • Can cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve if left undetected and untreated.
    • Is particularly dangerous to your vision because there are usually no noticeable symptoms at first.

    Possible Signs of Glaucoma:

    There are various types of glaucoma that can occur and progress without obvious symptoms or signs. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common, and symptoms are slow to develop. As this types of glaucoma progresses, you may notice that your side, or peripheral, vision is failing, causing you to miss objects out of the side and corner of your eye.

    If you are suddenly experiencing the following symptoms, you may have angle-closure glaucoma and should seek immediate treatment:

    • Blurred vision
    • Nausea
    • Headaches
    • Halos around bright lights
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