The eyes are not simply just the windows to our soul. In fact, the eyes are one of the foremost senses that we rely on in our day-to-day lives. Many people often take sight and seeing for granted, but for those who have impaired vision, from an accident or age-related issues, understanding the complexities of compromised eyesight is imperative to then being able to properly treat and combat it. Glaucoma is considered the second leading cause of blindness for those over the age of 40. More than 2.5 million Americans suffer from some form of the eye disease. This makes it incredibly pervasive and it’s only climbing higher as time goes on. That number is expected to more than double in 30 years.
Who Can Get Glaucoma?
There is ongoing research that has been done in regards to better understanding this condition and effective ways to prevent it from occurring. A very interesting tidbit of information regarding it is that anyone can actually develop glaucoma. Though there are certain people who may be more genetically predisposed to the condition, it can show up in anyone. Even younger individuals, such as children and babies, may develop the early onset of this condition which can have terrible effects and consequences on eyesight. Familial and genetic makeup does contribute to this specific condition in many ways. It has been found that people over the age of 60, especially those of Mexican-American descent, have a higher probability of suffering from glaucoma.
Comprehensive Eye Exam
The most effective way to catch the presence of glaucoma, in order to treat it quickly, is by getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam. One of the most beneficial methods of treatment and prevention starts when detection is made early. Eyesight can be saved and restored by taking this simple and relatively quick eye exam. The trained eye care professional will use a special tool that examines the very back of the eye. This magnifying lens will show any type of nerve damage or irregularity that may exist in the back of the eye where issues typically occur first.
Preventative Treatment Important
Simply waiting for symptoms is a bad idea. Because of how quickly glaucoma can spread and become unmanageable, preventative treatment is better than reactive treatment. This is how lack of awareness can really be costly in the end. For those who have a history of glaucoma in their family or have dealt with similar eye issues in the past, making it a point to be examined at least yearly is necessary. When glaucoma isn’t properly treated, eyesight begins to diminish. It is the peripheral eyesight that typically diminishes first. Seeing things out of the corner of the eye becomes more difficult. Over a period of time, even central vision can be negatively affected.
Nerve Cell Damage
The optic nerve is the compromised entity in the face of glaucoma. It exists in the very back of the eye and helps to carry specific peripheral visuals to the brain. When that optic nerve is damaged, its range of motion than becomes compromised. When the nerve cells become under attack from the presence of glaucoma, the flow of visual data is disrupted and can often be short circuited. Once this damage is done it cannot be reversed. Specific studies have been researching ways to protect eye cells from this nerve damage.