Glaucoma is a common eye disease that often runs in families. It affects the optic nerve connecting the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is often caused by high intraocular pressure, a result of a blockage in the eye’s drainage system. Early detection and treatment can prevent vision loss in most cases.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, affecting over 300,000 Australians, yet it is estimated that 50% of those living with glaucoma are undiagnosed.
While 9 out of 10 Australians say that sight is their most valued sense, as many as 1 in 3 Australians cannot recall having an eye test in the past 2 years.
What are the Symptoms?
Disturbingly glaucoma usually has no symptoms in the early stages, not affecting vision until it is more advanced. Any sudden changes of vision is a good enough reason to get your eyes checked out. Any sudden visual disturbance in dim lighting may be an early sign of acute angle-closure glaucoma.
The most common form of glaucoma starts with the loss of side vision (peripheral vision). There is no pain or discomfort associated with it. The lack of symptoms makes early detection difficult. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include:
- Painless blurred vision
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Difficulty adjusting to low light and glare
Who is at risk?
Those most at risk include people who:
- Have a family history of glaucoma (10x greater risk)
- Are aged 40 years and over
- Are short sighted
- Have diabetes
- Have had a serious injury to the eye
- Used steroids regularly over a long period of time
- Have hypertension
Can Glaucoma be treated?
Glaucoma can be treated with medication, laser treatment or surgery. Early detection and treatment can prevent or delay vision loss.
To help avoid glaucoma, people should have their eyes regularly examined by an optometrist. Envision Optical offers comprehensive examination of eye health as a preventive solution and can also detect glaucoma early and offer treatment. Book an appointment online with us today.
For more information about Glaucoma, check the links below