Although glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss it is widely misunderstood by many people. Most people either don’t understand how serious it can be or they don’t believe they are at risk for developing it.
Glaucoma is when the internal pressure in the eye builds up and damages the optic nerve. It is important to understand the risks and warning signs of glaucoma because it can lead to long-term vision loss if it is not treated properly. Here are four little-known facts about glaucoma:
- You can develop glaucoma with absolutely no symptoms
If you don’t have yearly vision screenings you could develop glaucoma without even realizing it. Glaucoma often produces no symptoms or pain so it can go untreated for a long time.
- Anyone can develop glaucoma
There are certain factors, such as family history, which will put you at higher risk for glaucoma. But the truth is anyone can develop glaucoma. Many people who are diagnosed with this condition have no family history whatsoever.
- Glaucoma affects people of all ages
Did you know that glaucoma can affect you at any age? One in 10,000 babies is born with glaucoma every year and adults can be affected as well. You are at higher risk of developing glaucoma if you have a family history of the disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
- There is no cure for glaucoma
While glaucoma is treatable there is no cure. This is why it is so important to have yearly vision check-ups; the earlier you can catch glaucoma, the earlier treatment can begin.
Glaucoma causes fluid pressure inside the eye to build, slowly damaging the optic nerve. Roughly 2.3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma, making it the leading cause of blindness in the Western world. And because glaucoma often develops with no symptoms or pain, it can go untreated for a long time.
The best way to protect yourself from glaucoma is by staying up to date on your comprehensive vision screenings. This is because catching and treating glaucoma early on is the best way to help maintain your vision. Be sure to let your doctor know about any family history or other factors that put you at higher risk for developing glaucoma.
For more information about glaucoma and how you can preserve the health of your eyes, schedule a screening at one of our Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, or Washington, DC locations today.