What is Glaucoma and the risk factors associated with the disease?

Jan. 20—January is Glaucoma Awareness Month and Kennedy Eyecare gives information on what symptoms to look for and how to combat the disease.

1 What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve due to increased pressure within the eye. It's typically progressive and can lead to vision loss of left untreated. This condition often develops gradually, initially without noticeable symptoms, making regular eye check-ups crucial for early detection and management.

2 What are the symptoms?

Glaucoma often develops slowly, and in its early stages, may have no noticeable symptoms. As it progresses, it can lead to symptoms like:

Tunnel vision

Blurred vision

Severe eye pain

Nausea

Vision Loss

3 What are some causes and risk factors?

Anyone can get glaucoma. Since it occurs because of increased pressure in the eye, certain factors can elevate your risk:

Age, particularly 40+

Family history

Certain conditions like diabetes

Prolonged use of corticosteroids

People over the age of 60 are at much higher risk. People with diabetes are twice as likely to get glaucoma than people without diabetes.

4 Is there a cure?

There is no cure for glaucoma. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, treatment options consist of vision loss prevention, including:

Eye drops

Oral medicine

Surgery to reduce eye pressure

5 What can I do?

If you are in a high-risk group or have been diagnosed with glaucoma, there are many steps you can take to lower your risk of vision loss. Even if you are not in a high-risk group, anyone can develop glaucoma. It's important to:

Know your family history

Maintain a healthy weight

Control your blood pressure

Be physically active

Avoid smoking

Getting a comprehensive eye exam every year is the best way to catch glaucoma early and start treatment. Schedule your comprehensive exam today and take the first step in maintaining your best vision.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com