We all value our eyesight. A lot. We use our eyes to aid us in nearly everything we do, and this is why it is crucial to take proper care of our eyes and to determine if we are at risk for particular eye diseases, like glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects the eyes by creating excess pressure within them. A backup of fluid within the eye is what is behind the pressure. However, Glaucoma is serious. It is the leading cause of blindness in the world, and it is especially common among senior citizens.
Who Is at Risk for Glaucoma?
Here’s a quick checklist to help you figure out of you’re at risk for glaucoma.
- Those over the age of 40
- People with a family history of glaucoma
- People with high intraocular pressure (IOP) – have your eye doctor check this!
- People of African, Asian, or Latino descent
- Those that are nearsighted (myopia)
- If you have extremely low or high blood pressure
- Those with thin corneas
- Anyone who has had past injuries to the eye
- Anyone who has had severe anemia
- Those who frequently uses steroids/cortisone for medical purposes
The Glaucoma Foundation suggests that those above the age of 40 years old should have regular eye exams every year and a half, however, if another risk applies to you from the list above, you should have annual eye exams to be tested for glaucoma.
Glaucoma Warning Signs
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may want to consult your physician about the possibility of glaucoma.
- Trouble adjusting to dark rooms
- Very watery eyes, tearing
- Dark spots that are at the center of your viewing
- Swollen eyelids, encrusted eyelids, or red-rimmed eyelids
- Seeing double of things, double vision
- Dry eyes that itch or burn
- The color of your iris changed
- Unusual sensitivity to light and glares that leads to squinting or blinking
- Lines and edges are wavy and appear distorted
Prevention Is the Best Cure
Now that you’re aware of the risk factors and potential symptom, what steps can you take to reduce your risk? Well, make sure that you are scheduling regular eye exams. This is the very best way to prevent damage from glaucoma. Next, if you are currently experiencing any warning signs, schedule an appointment with you primary care physician or ophthalmologist. Early detection is key to combating this disease.