Don’t Let Glaucoma Steal Your Sight
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month
Happy New Year! At Cargo Eye Care of Las Colinas, we’re excited about welcoming 2023, and look forward to serving our amazing patients in the coming year. January ushers in the chance for a fresh start, an opportunity to focus on new beginnings, new habits and goals. January is also Glaucoma Awareness Month. At Cargo Eye Care, we have one goal year after year – making sure you have all the information and care you need to keep your eyes healthy for a lifetime.
Silent Thief of Sight
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, more than 3 million Americans have glaucoma. But experts estimate that half of those with glaucoma don’t even know they have it!
The reason for this is that the most common type of glaucoma (Primary open-angle) often does not exhibit noticeable symptoms. Glaucoma, often called the silent thief of sight, can steal your vision over time if left untreated. The National Eye Institute projects the number of Americans with glaucoma will reach 4.2 million by 2030, which is a 58 percent increase.
What Causes Glaucoma?
The exact cause of glaucoma is unknown. But from a medical standpoint, here’s how it works. The passages that normally allow fluid within your eye to drain become clogged or blocked, increasing pressure on the optic nerve. The increased pressure can damage nerve fibers and blood vessels, resulting in vision loss.
Glaucoma can develop at any age and the damage it causes is irreversible. For this reason, all annual comprehensive eye exams at Cargo Eye Care of Las Colinas include a glaucoma screening. If glaucoma is detected, our experienced doctors will perform a more in-depth glaucoma evaluation.
How is Glaucoma Treated?
While there is currently no cure for glaucoma, there are a number of medications and surgical options that can slow the side effects or even bring them to a halt.
Glaucoma is treated by lowering intraocular pressure (the pressure inside your eye), and this can be achieved a few different ways, depending on the severity of your unique condition.
In some cases, medication (eye drops) can keep your glaucoma under control. These types of medications help the eye’s fluid drain better or decrease the amount of fluid being made. Medications must be taken daily to keep eye pressure at a safe level. In most cases, medications can safely control eye pressure for many years.
In more severe cases, laser surgery, conventional (“incisional”) surgery or a combination of these will be needed. Treatment plans can differ depending on the type of glaucoma you have.
Am I at Risk for Glaucoma?
Anyone can develop glaucoma at any time; even children! But there are a few risk factors you need to be aware of:
- Over age 55
- A family history of glaucoma
- Black, Asian or Hispanic heritage
- Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure and sickle cell anemia
- Thin corneas
- Eye injury or certain types of eye surgery
- Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
- Taking corticosteroid medicines, especially eye drops, for a long period of time
Trust Your Eyes to the Experts
If you think you or someone you love may be at risk of developing glaucoma, your first step is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. January is a great time to prioritize all those regular appointments and screenings for the year. You’ll feel so accomplished after you make your appointment for an eye exam, a dental cleaning and maybe even your annual physical. Look at you! Knocking out those New Year’s resolutions in the first month of the year!
At Cargo Eye Care of Las Colinas, we’d be honored to be your first choice in eye care for yourself and your loved ones. We are an established regional leader in the field of optometry. Our experienced team provides comprehensive vision examinations and our doctors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of eye diseases, conditions and problems. Schedule your appointment today.