Glaucoma Specialist in Campbelltown, PA
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What is glaucoma? Rather than it being a singular disease, glaucoma is a collection of diseases, but all forms of glaucoma involve damage to the optic nerve. Because the optic nerve is the mechanism by which information is transferred from the eye to the brain, damage results in gradual vision loss. If you are in Campbelltown, PA the glaucoma specialists at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania are in nearby Lebanon ready to see you.
Tell me more about glaucoma
Glaucoma is much more common than you might think. In fact, there are over three million cases in the US each year. There is no known cure for any form of glaucoma, but early diagnosis and early treatments do effectively manage the condition.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease and results in increased eye pressure. Glaucoma in all its forms typically has no early symptoms, and that is why half of all people with glaucoma don’t even know they have it.
In the later stages, you may have symptoms like eye pain, headache, blurred vision, narrowed vision or sensitivity to glare. Treatments involve medications and possibly surgery to reduce the intraocular pressure to prevent further optic nerve damage.
Eye drops and oral medicines can be given and laser and other surgeries can be performed. Sometimes doctors use a combination of treatments to prevent permanent vision loss.
With glaucoma, at first, peripheral vision loss occurs. When you are looking straight ahead, what can you see on each side of your head? If this field of vision has become narrowed, it could be an effect of glaucoma. In the later stages, central vision is affected, and daily activities like driving and reading might be affected. Some patients with glaucoma have low vision, meaning you have a hard time doing these routine activities even with glasses or contact lenses helping out.
Am I at risk?
While anyone can get glaucoma, certain age and ethnic groups are at risk. All people over age 60 are at increased risk. Over age 40, people of African or Hispanic descent are at higher risk, as are people with a family history of glaucoma and people with diabetes.
There are several ways you can help to protect your vision. Regular eye exams are key, and it is important to know your family’s eye health history. Always wear sunglasses to block out the UV-A and UV-B rays which can damage the eyes, and eat a healthy diet filled with leafy greens like spinach or kale.
Make a healthy choice and get an eye exam this year. This is particularly important if it has been a while since your last exam, especially if you are in one of the high-risk categories mentioned above. If you do have glaucoma, your vision can be preserved but you must take action. Campbelltown, PA residents can visit our glaucoma specialist in nearby Lebanon. Early treatment is critically important and it starts with the all-important eye exam. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.
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