You may have heard the word Glaucoma before, but probably thought it was only something that affected smokers. This is not true. Anyone can get glaucoma, whether you smoke or not. Dr. Amy Walden & Associates, Eye Doctor Indianapolis breaks down what glaucoma is and who is at risk of getting it. For example, did you know that glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world? It is the leading cause of preventable vision loss and blindness in adults in the United States and Canada. Notice that this stat states “preventable” vision loss. Therefore, following proper eye health can help in maintaining this disease. By 2030, there could be a large increase of 58% of adults that will have this disease. So if you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma recently, there are things you can do to help save your vision.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damages your eye’s optic nerve. It tends to occur when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye, called Intraocular Pressure (IOP). This additional fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve. It is estimated that three million Americans have glaucoma, but only about half of them are aware that they have this disease.
With the help of proper education, these numbers can dwindle down. Not only can this be maintained in many adults, but with early detection, it can be prevented with further damage and blindness. Without proper comprehensive eye exams each year with your Eye Doctor Indianapolis, there may not be any warning signs until the disease has progressed. Which then in turn can lead to vision loss and possible blindness. Unfortunately, once you start to have vision lost from this disease, it most likely cannot be restored. There is no cure for Glaucoma, but there are medications and surgery that can assist in stopping further damage to your eyes.
Who is at Risk?
Glaucoma is a mysterious disease. Many people are unaware of who it affects and how severe it can be. Prevention and early detection are key. As stated earlier, symptoms are sometimes not present, therefore yearly eye exams are essential in adults. This is why is it important to make regular appointments with your Eye Doctor Indianapolis if you think you are at risk.
Here a list of statistics and risk factors to be aware of:
- People over the age over 60 are at a higher risk
- More than 120,000 people in the U.S. are blind from glaucoma
- After cataracts, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans
- Hispanics and Asians over 60 are at high risk
- 10 million visits to physicians each year are because of Glaucoma
- Family history of glaucoma
- Diabetics are at higher risk
- People with severe nearsightedness
- Injury to the eye can cause Glaucoma immediately or years later
- Certain medications
Tips to Help Prevent Glaucoma
Although there are not any full proof ways to prevent this disease from occurring to you, (since some of the risks factors come with age, family history, etc). Dr. Amy Walden and Associated wanted to present some tips that can only benefit your overall health:
- Yearly Eye Exams – Having a comprehensive eye exam with your Eye Doctor Indianapolis can detect the start of many eye diseases. Many eye diseases do not show any signs, that is why having a series of tests each year can maintain your vision.
- If diagnosed, follow the proper precautions and medical steps that your doctor gives you to maintain your overall eye health.
- Maintain a moderate exercise program. Exercise benefits your overall health, however jogging or some physical exercise for 30 minutes, 3 times a week can have an IOP lowering effect.
- Protect your eyes. Wear protective eye-wear not only in warm weather months, but all year long if the sun is out. You can still have damage from UV rays in the wintertime.
Contact Your Eye Doctor Indianapolis, Dr. Amy Walden & Associates If Your Are Experiencing Glaucoma Symptoms
Overall, the key to this eye disease is early detection. If you would like to set up an eye appointment with one of Eye Doctor Indianapolis, please call us at (317) 770-1633 or for your convenience you can schedule an appointment online.