Glaucoma Awareness Month 2022: What is Glaucoma?
As world leaders in glaucoma research and treatment, the Vold Vision team believes it’s our duty to continue to educate our community on this unforgiving disease, especially during glaucoma awareness month. Answering a foundational question, what is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the slow loss of vision over time and is typically diagnosed later in life. It is caused by the build-up of pressure and fluid over time, as the result of a damaged nerve optic. Dr. Vold often uses the example of a clogged sink… When your sink it clogged, water is not able to flow through the pipes properly. Due it’s slow progression, it often goes unnoticed until sight has been lost, leading the title of “silent thief of sight” and second leading cause of irreversible blindness.
The most common type of glaucoma is classified as open. Other versions are closed-angle and normal-tension glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is painless and develops very gradually over decades. As symptoms progress, peripheral vision starts to degrade. Central vision usually follows and, if untreated, can lead to total blindness. Closed-angle glaucoma can occur gradually or quite suddenly, the latter of which can involve sharp pain, blurry vision, dilated pupils, red-eye, and nausea.
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, but those at higher risk for glaucoma are:
- African Americans aged 40 and older
- All adults aged 60 and older, especially those who are Hispanics/Latinos
- Those who have family medical history of glaucoma
Other factors that increase the risk of having glaucoma include:
- A previous eye injury
The best way to control and combat glaucoma is with early detection and treatment. It’s extremely important for your vision to have a yearly eye exam. Vold Vision provides the most advanced medical, laser, and surgical care available in the field. If you or someone you know would like to have a glaucoma evaluation, contact us at (479) 442-8653.