The optic nerve or cranial nerve II transmits sensory information in electrical impulses from the eye to the brain. Medical problems like glaucoma can damage the optic nerve, resulting in eye problems and, in worst cases, loss of sight. It is common among older adults of age 60nand above but can occur in people of different age groups. The effect glaucoma causes are so gradual, making it hard to notice vision changes. In addition, most forms of glaucoma have presented no signs and symptoms, which makes it more necessary to see Dr. Stephen M. Wolchock for regular eye examinations. Recognizing the condition in its early stages increases your treatment success rates and helps slow or sometimes prevent vision loss.
Types of glaucoma
- Open-angle glaucoma
It is the most prevalent form of the disease and a common cause of blindness. Open-glaucoma occurs when there is a partial blockage in the trabecular meshwork while the iris remains open. As a result, eye pressure build-up, which can eventually damage the optic nerve. Its progression is prolonged that most patients hardly detect any changes until the disease has advanced.
- Angle-closure glaucoma
This type of glaucoma inhibits the circulation of fluid through the eye, causing pressure increase. It occurs when the iris blocks the drainage angle by bulging forward. However, some people naturally have narrow drainage angles, increasing their risk of this form of glaucoma.
- Normal-tension glaucoma
The optic nerve becomes damaged although the eye pressure is at its normal state. The cause of this condition is not established but linked to problems like atherosclerosis which is the presence of plaque on arteries. Other conditions that affect blood transportation are also linked to normal-tension glaucoma.
How can I prevent glaucoma?
Although there are no known ways to prevent glaucoma, the following self-care measures can help you detect glaucoma in its most prevalent forms – primary open-angle glaucoma. Others listed below allow you to reduce eye pressure which damages the optic nerve, resulting in glaucoma. At this stage, treatment can help you slow down the loss of vision.
- Get regular comprehensive eye exams to help in the early detection of glaucoma. How often you see a specialist depends on different factors, such as your risk for glaucoma, which can be based on your age and family history. For example, older people above 65 may need more visits than those under 40 who may need to see a specialist at least every five to 10 years.
- Understand your family’s history regarding eye health. Your chances of developing glaucoma are higher if the condition runs in your family, which is why regular screening is necessary.
- Sometimes glaucoma treatment involves using eye drops to lessen the risk that high eye pressure will cause glaucoma. However, for the treatment to be effective, you need to follow your prescription consistently, whether or not you have any symptoms.
- Wear eye protection to avoid injuries, especially when playing hockey, football, archery, and lacrosse. Or when performing tasks such as welding.
Eye screening can help you detect glaucoma earlier and slow down damage progression. Book a session today with your doctor at Wolchock Eye Associates for Screening to reduce your risk of vision loss.