Recent studies show that over three million people in the country have glaucoma. This eye disease is considered the second primary cause of vision loss worldwide, next to cataracts. Many people, however, are not familiar with the nature of glaucoma, an eye problem that can steal their vision unexpectedly.
As part of the National Glaucoma Awareness Month, Dr. Joel H McGahen, OD, an eyeglasses specialist, discusses how glaucoma can affect your vision.
This vision problem occurs when pressure builds up within the eye, which damages the optic nerve. This the part of the eye that transmits images to the brain, but as the level of pressure increases, it may not function as it should. This could lead to impaired vision or even loss of eyesight.
Everyone can develop glaucoma, from infants to senior citizens. Older people, however, are at higher risk for glaucoma. African Americans are also more susceptible to developing this eye disease at an early age. Visit your local optometrist or eye doctor to assess your eye health and look for signs of glaucoma.
Two Types of Glaucoma
Glaucoma has two forms: the open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma. The first type of glaucoma occurs when the trabecular meshwork, the drain structure in the eye, looks normal, but the aqueous humor does not flow as it should. The patient, however, may not feel any symptoms and slight loss of vision may go unnoticed.
Angle-closure glaucoma, on the other hand, happens when the drain space between your iris and cornea becomes too narrow. This causes pressure to build up in your eye. People with this type of glaucoma may experience pain and rapid vision loss.
How to Prevent Vision Loss
Medicine has yet to find a cure for glaucoma and vision loss remains irreversible. Eye doctors, however, may suggest medical procedures to halt further loss of vision. Regular eye exams are also a must to monitor glaucoma’s progression.
Turn to Dr. Joel H McGahen, OD, premier local eye doctor, for your vision care. Call us today at (717) 609-4443 to schedule an appointment. We serve residents of Chambersburg, PA, and other nearby locations.