Glaucoma is an eye disease with virtually no symptoms. Once vision is lost, the loss is permanent. Currently, more than three million Americans are hindered by glaucoma.
The loss of vision is caused by damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain. Although glaucoma primarily affects the middle-aged and elderly, it can impact on people of all ages. (aside: I just recently learned of a condition called “optic migraines”. In many cases, caused by too much time in front of a computer screen. Try to give yourself a needed break from too much time spent with your computer monitor.)
Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma. Yet, early detection and intervention in the form of medication that reduces the elevated intraocular pressure on the optic nerve or surgery can help slow or prevent further vision loss.
Some prevention tips for consideration:
- Schedule regular eye exams. Since there are virtually no symptoms, you may not notice any changes in your eyesight until significant vision is lost (which begins with loss peripheral vision). For those over the age of 65, eye exams should be performed every six or 12 months.
- Be aware of the risk factors. Those at higher risk include people of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent. Other high-risk groups include people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely nearsighted.
- Follow a program of regular exercise. Research has shown that moderate exercise such as walking or jogging three or more times every week can lower intraocular pressure on the optic nerve.
- Wear protective eyewear. This is important when engaged in sports activities or home improvement projects. Eye injuries can result in traumatic glaucoma or secondary glaucoma.
- Take prescribed eye drops. Glaucoma eye drops can significantly reduce the risk that high eye pressure will progress to glaucoma. To be effective, eye drops prescribed by your doctor need to be used regularly even if you have no symptoms.
- Elder Abuse, pt. 2 - June 21, 2021
- June: Elder Abuse Awareness, pt. 1 - June 16, 2021
- Elder Lifestyle Realities with Heart Failure - June 7, 2021
- Treating Heart Failure - May 31, 2021
- Mobile Doctors with House Call Services - May 24, 2021
- Signs of Heart Failure - May 18, 2021
- Elders, Meal Prep, and Nutrition - May 11, 2021
- Tips for Homebound Elderly - May 3, 2021
- “Poly-Pharmacy” in Elders - April 27, 2021
- Caring for Elders – and Keeping Your Batteries Charged - April 14, 2021
John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164