While most people consider glaucoma to be one condition that can impair vision, sometimes to the point of blindness, glaucoma is actually a group of eye conditions that all stem from damage to the optic nerve. These are potentially serious conditions that are the leading cause of blindness for those over sixty. Although it is more common to have glaucoma at an older age, it is a condition that happens to people of all ages. This is one of the many reasons why it is essential to see your eye doctor regularly. Our team at VisionSmith in Plymouth provides prompt glaucoma care that can help you preserve your vision.
Types of Glaucoma
The main types of glaucoma are open-angle glaucoma and acute angle-closure glaucoma. When glaucoma first begins, there may be little or no symptoms. However, we can test for early signs of glaucoma during your comprehensive eye exam. Getting a regular eye exam can go a long way towards keeping symptoms under control.
Most cases of glaucoma are open-angle glaucoma, accounting for at least 90%. This type of glaucoma happens when the eyes' drainage canals become clogged and create extra pressure in the eye. In these cases, a wide angle starts to form between the iris and cornea. This condition is very subtle at first, showing few symptoms. When symptoms do become noticeable, there may be blind spots in the peripheral and sometimes central vision. Those in advanced stages of the disease may experience tunnel vision.
Angle Closure Glaucoma
This is sometimes called narrow-angle glaucoma and occurs when a sudden rise in interocular pressure blocks drainage canals. The onset can be swift, and symptoms are quite noticeable and demand immediate medical attention to save as much vision as possible. Some symptoms include severe headache, eye pain, nausea, blurry vision, and the appearance of halos around lights.
Other Types of Glaucoma
There are instances where glaucoma can happen without any eye pressure issues, known as normal-tension or low-tension glaucoma, where the optic nerve becomes damaged for some other reason. Glaucoma can also occur in babies when the drainage canals did not develop properly during pregnancy. Glaucoma may also be a secondary condition to conditions such as cataracts, diabetes, tumors, or may be brought on by trauma.
Who Should Be on Guard for Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a more significant risk to some people than others. Having a family history or personal experience with conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, or heart disease can put you at higher risk. It is also more common in those over 60 years old. Having a history of other vision problems, such as extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness, can also make it more likely to develop glaucoma.
Contact Us for an Eye Exam from Our Optometrist in Plymouth, MN
If you have a personal or family history of glaucoma or live in the Plymouth area and are due for an eye exam, contact us at VisionSmith. The best way to treat glaucoma is to catch it early on before the condition causes any severe damage. Our optometry team is committed to providing our patients the eye and vision care they need. Contact us to find out how our eye doctor can provide you and your family quality eye care.