At the big box chain opticals, how many times have you heard: “your eye pressure is normal, so you don’t have glaucoma.” High eye pressure does NOT cause glaucoma; it is only a risk factor. They should know this, but unfortunately eye health is not usually their goal. Optic nerve damage usually occurs in the presence of high eye pressure; however, glaucoma can also be diagnosed with normal eye pressure.
Glaucoma is caused by the degeneration of the optic nerve. It is the 2nd leading cause of blindness in the US and the leading cause of irreversible blindness. It is the leading cause of blindness in the African American and Hispanic population in the US.
It has a nickname, the Silent Thief of Sight. Why? Because there are absolutely no signs or symptoms in the early to moderate stages of this disease. That is devastating because that is when glaucoma is its most treatable.
Potential Risk Factors for glaucoma include:
- Family history of glaucoma
- High eye pressure
- Age above 40
- Suspicious optic nerve appearance
- High myopia (nearsightedness)
- Use of corticosteroids
While there is no cure for glaucoma, through early diagnosis, the disease can be controlled before vision loss of blindness occurs.
Do you have any of the above risk factors? Please contact us today for your glaucoma evaluation.