Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness and everyone is at risk for it. Glaucoma is a disease to the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends the information of what the eye sees to the brain. Glaucoma’s damage to the optic nerve can happen very rapidly or over decades depending on the type of glaucoma.
Many people do not know they have glaucoma because they can see well. Glaucoma first affects the outer peripheral side vision before progressing towards the central vision. This is a problem since glaucoma can sneak up on patients and take their vision before they know it and can do anything to stop it.
It is best to see your optometrist or ophthalmologist on a yearly basis so glaucoma can be caught in it’s early stages. The eye doctor checks for glaucoma risk factors by checking the intraocular eye pressure, examining the optic nerve via dilation, running a visual field test, taking retinal photos and more.
When glaucoma is diagnosed, it is then treated by the eye doctor by lowering the intraocular pressure. This can be done with eye drops, surgical intervention and lifestyle changes.
High risk factors include family history, age, being nearsighted or farsighted, diabetes, high blood pressure, eye injuries, corticosteroid medication use and more. Race also is a major risk factor as the black, Caribbean and latino population are at a much higher risk for glaucoma. In fact black people are 15x more likely than Caucasians to have glaucoma affect their vision.
Things you can do to decrease the risk of glaucoma include maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood pressure, not smoking, exercising, wearing sunglasses and eating healthy. The most important thing you can do is to get regular comprehensive eye examinations by your eye doctor.
Please visit the Green Eye Care in East Harlem, NY. Our eye doctor, Dr. Neil Satija and opticians specialize in diagnosing and treating glaucoma. We are a multidisciplinary vision center and work with other eye specialists when needed to keep your vision as strong as possible. Glaucoma patients can be seen with both medical and vision insurance. Please visit www.GreenEyeHarlem.com or call (347) 757-5475 to make an appointment.