Do you remember your last visit to your eye doctor? Besides having you read a chart of little letters, your doctor likely put some drops in your eyes and sprayed them with a puff of air. This little test helps doctors diagnose glaucoma. But what is glaucoma? And what can be done to treat it? Keep reading to learn more.
Glaucoma is a disease where damage to the optic nerve causes irreversible vision loss. Here is what you should know.
- Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.
- There is currently no cure for glaucoma. Medication and surgery can sometimes halt the progression of the disease, but nothing can reverse its effects or restore lost vision.
- Older people and African Americans are more likely to get glaucoma, but everyone of every age is at risk.
- There are often no noticeable symptoms of glaucoma. There is usually no pain due to the increased pressure. Since vision loss starts in the periphery, many people compensate by turning their heads without noticing that their vision is impaired.
- There are many forms of glaucoma. The most common form is primary open-angle glaucoma, which is caused by the clogging of the eye’s drainage canals.
ADVANCES IN DIAGNOSTICS
Because there is currently no cure that can restore vision loss due to glaucoma, it is important to get your eyes tested frequently. Early diagnosis helps your doctor to treat glaucoma and stop the vision loss from progressing. There are already many different tests for glaucoma, but some scientists in Indiana are working on using high-resolution imaging to develop better methods for diagnosing glaucoma and tracking the progression of the disease. This will allow earlier diagnosis and more accurate tracking of the disease. As you wait for technology to advance, the best thing you can do to avoid vision loss is to regularly visit your eye doctor. They can answer questions and help you catch problems before they worsen. Make an appointment today!