About 3 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of them know it.
Glaucoma is called the silent thief of sight because it has no symptoms in its early stages. However, it can progress to complete blindness without timely detection and treatment. Glaucoma causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve, resulting in progressive vision loss. Comprehensive eye exams can detect glaucoma at its earliest stages, and patients at risk are advised to have their eyes examined annually.
Who is at risk?
- Patients over 60
- Family history of glaucoma
- African or Hispanic ancestry
- Farsightedness or nearsightedness
- Elevated eye pressure
- Past eye injury
- Low blood pressure
- Conditions that affect blood flow, such as migraines, diabetes and low blood pressure
The most important factor in treating glaucoma is early detection of the disease. Most patients will be treated with eye drops to control eye pressure. Laser treatment and surgery are also options for certain cases. West Suburban Eye Center doctors can also use Visual Field analysis, OCT scans, and color optic nerve photographs to help detect and monitor the disease.
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