January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and increasing awareness is crucial to ensuring quick and early detection of this condition. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and can potentially lead to vision loss and even blindness. In this blog, we’ll share risk factors, tips for prevention, treatment options, and why it’s important to schedule regular visits with your optometrist.
Signs of glaucoma
The most common symptom associated with glaucoma is a gradual decrease in peripheral vision (side-to-side vision). Other symptoms may include seeing halos around lights, difficulty focusing on nearby objects, headaches or eye pain, redness in the eyes, nausea, or vomiting.
Know your risk factors
Several factors can increase your risk of developing glaucoma, including your age (over 60), family history, African American heritage, and high intraocular pressure. Knowing your risk factors can help you be proactive in protecting your eyesight. If you fall into any of these high-risk groups, it’s critical that you schedule routine appointments with an optometrist. You should look for an optometrist who specializes in detecting glaucoma early on and developing personalized treatment plans tailored to the patient’s specific needs.
Preventing vision loss from glaucoma
Taking care of your eyes is one of the best ways to prevent vision loss caused by glaucoma. Here are some tips from the American Optometric Association that can help protect your eyesight:
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors
- Get regular comprehensive eye exams
- Take breaks when working at a computer for extended periods
- Drink plenty of water each day
- Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., salmon and eggs)
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking if relevant
- Manage any existing health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
Treatment options for glaucoma
If you’re diagnosed with glaucoma, there are many medical treatments available like prescription eye drops and laser surgery. These treatments are designed to reduce intraocular pressure as well as prevent further damage from occurring. During your eye exam, your doctor will create a customized treatment plan based on the severity of your condition and lifestyle choices that work best for you.
Knowing your risk factors and being aware of signs like hazy vision can help you detect glaucoma early and prevent major damage. If you’re noticing early signs of glaucoma or are at an increased risk of developing this condition, make sure to schedule an appointment with our office today!