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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and for seniors, awareness for this eye condition is more relevant than ever. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness due to damage to the optic nerve. This nerve is essential to the ability to see because it supplies visual information to your brain from your eyes.
In most cases, glaucoma is caused by elevated eye pressure and a buildup of fluid that flows throughout the inside of your eye. Other less common causes of glaucoma include a severe eye infection, eye injury, blocked blood vessels in your eye, and inflammatory conditions. Although glaucoma can occur at any age, it usually occurs in adults over 40.
The symptoms of glaucoma vary according to the type. There are several types of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma (also known as chronic glaucoma) is the most common. With open-angle glaucoma, eye fluid drains slowly, causing eye pressure to build up. There are no warning signs in the early stages, but blind spots eventually develop in your peripheral vision as open-angle glaucoma progresses.
In angle-closure glaucoma, the eye drainage system becomes narrow or clogged, preventing fluid from draining properly. This version of glaucoma can occur suddenly. In some cases, it is considered a medical emergency. Symptoms include:
An ophthalmologist will perform comprehensive eye examinations and testing to diagnose glaucoma. They will check for signs of deterioration in the eye and measure your eye pressure, cornea size, and the optic nerve.
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to help prevent any further vision loss and reduce eye pressure. Typically, a strict regimen of medicated eye drops is prescribed. In more advanced stages, additional medication and/or surgery may be required.
While glaucoma can’t be prevented, early diagnosis is key. Use Glaucoma Awareness Month as a reminder to get a yearly eye exam. As we get older, regular eye testing is essential to help detect damage from glaucoma before it advances and manifests into vision loss. Be proactive and schedule your eye exam today to save yourself from consequences later!
At Peabody Retirement Community, we believe that wellness is a major part of celebrating the ageless spirit! Our caring staff is dedicated to promoting senior health and wellness as you age. We’re here to support you in making positive, healthy choices so you can continue to thrive in retirement. From nutritious, diverse and delicious dining options to a variety of wellness amenities and activities at the Billie Jane Strauss Wellness Center, we offer several opportunities for healthy aging.
Schedule a tour of our 33-acre campus in North Manchester, Indiana and see everything we have to offer in person. Contact us today!