Have you heard of Glaucoma? It is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, leading to loss of peripheral vision, and eventually, if left untreated, advanced glaucoma can leave you with only tunnel vision and irreversible vision loss.
Glaucoma is a silent disease; it can harm your eyes without you noticing. Often, it can happen when the pressure inside your eyes goes up and damages the optic nerve, which is crucial for seeing. In some cases, certain people may have more sensitive optic nerves that can be damaged even with low or normal eye pressure. Hence why there are different types of Glaucoma; but the end result is often gradual loss of vision. It's more common as you get older, and if your family has a history of it, you might be at risk.
Most of the time, Glaucoma doesn't show clear symptoms until it's advanced, which is why regular eye check-ups are crucial. If you’ve only lost a small part of your peripheral vision, your brain is very good at making up what it thinks is there, and in some cases the other eye’s peripheral vision may overlap and make up for it. As you slowly lose your peripheral vision bit by bit, by the time you notice, you may have lost a significant portion of your vision before you know it. Having regular Glaucoma checkups is like getting a tune-up for your car to catch problems before they become serious.
Here at IC Optometrist, we have a few methods of measuring your eye pressure, scanning your optic nerves and plotting out your visual field. In combination, especially measured over a number of years, we can get a comprehensive understanding of your glaucoma risk profile. If we do detect some signs of Glaucoma, we will refer you to a Glaucoma specialist near you to work out a treatment plan.
Glaucoma is very treatable, most people will start on eye drops that aim to lower your eye pressure, there are also types of laser procedures and surgeries that are very effective at preventing further Glaucomatous damage. Lifestyle factors, like staying active and eating well, can also play a role in keeping your eyes healthy.
So, in simple terms, keep an eye on your eyes, get regular check-ups, and know that even though glaucoma is stealthy, there are ways to catch it early and protect your sight.