Your eyes are one of your most precious resources. They allow you to experience the world in a far different manner than if you were lacking vision. They help you process information. They help you identify people and places.
But your eyes are not infallible. There are many diseases and injuries that can take away your eyesight. That is why it is so important to visit an eye care professional at least once a year.
It is also important to know your family eye history. Why is this so important? You have to be aware of whether or not glaucoma or other eye conditions run in your family. It can mean the difference between seeing something clearly or not seeing at all.
This article will cover some of the basic information about glaucoma. Hopefully by the end you will understand the importance of monitoring your eye health.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a sight stealer. It is actually a group of diseases that gradually affect a person’s sight. It causes damage to the optic nerve. We need our optic nerve in order to see. You can think of the optic nerve as an electric cable that conducts thousands of images and send the information to the brain.
This condition can strike anyone at any time but it is far more prevalent in the elderly. This disease has two main categories: open angle and closed angle. At one time doctors thought that it was high pressure in the eye that caused the disease and subsequent loss of vision but now it is known that other factors are involved.
What happens to your vision if you have glaucoma?
Most people do not realize they have this disease until they either have an eye examination or they begin to have a loss in vision. The damages do not occur suddenly. It builds up over time until vision is lost completely.
That is why it is so important to have a yearly eye exam, especially if you have a family history of the disease, have vision problems already, are over forty or have diabetes. Once the damage is done, there is very little that doctors can do to correct it. Researchers are working on a cure for this devastating disease that robs people of their vision but as of yet there is not a cure.
Does glaucoma affect only the elderly?
This is a yes and no question. Yes, the elderly are most commonly the ones affected by the disease. But people as young as nine or ten can be examined and can show signs of glaucoma. If it is hereditary, it can be passed down.
The status of the optic nerve may remain outside the normal range but the eye still is healthy for a number of years. But those that have a history of this disease in their family need to be monitored to ensure that the pressure of the eye does not increase nor does the optic nerve begin to look damaged. So to answer the question properly, anyone can be affected by this disease no matter what the age.
How long is the recovery time from surgery for glaucoma?
Most surgeries take place in the doctor’s office and you are able to go home that day. Even if it does take place in a hospital, you go home that day unless there are unforeseen complications. You can expect to have some eye discomfort and will probably be prescribed eye drops to help bring the pressure back down to normal or within normal range.