As you get older, your eyesight changes, and you may be at increased risk for conditions that affect your eye health. One condition that’s especially concerning is glaucoma and in honor of January being Glaucoma Awareness Month, Dr. Poonawala and the staff at Pack Optical want to remind you about the importance of glaucoma testing.
Glaucoma is a condition that results when your optic nerve is damaged, often by excess pressure in your eyes. This condition is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly but can affect patients of any age.
In a healthy eye, internal fluids naturally drain through a meshwork of tissue where your cornea and iris meet. When there’s a blockage in this meshwork or your body produces too many fluids, your optic nerve may be put under pressure that eventually causes permanent damage.
Unfortunately, pressure build-up in the eye happens so gradually that it doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms. People with too much pressure in the eye often have no idea they have the condition until they begin to suffer a loss of vision.
For this reason, you should stay on track with routine eye exams, especially if you have a history of glaucoma in your family.
At your eye exam, Dr. Poonawala can do a painless, noninvasive glaucoma test to ensure your overall eye health. During this test, any signs of elevated eye pressure can be addressed immediately before you suffer vision issues.
Once the damage to the optic nerve has been done, there’s no treatment that can reverse the effects of glaucoma. Any loss of vision you suffer as a result is permanent.
Preventive treatment can be as simple as prescription eye drops that improve fluid drainage or reduce your body’s production of excess fluids. There are also oral medications that can effectively lower eye pressure to prevent vision complications. In order for medications to be effective, you need to use them exactly as they have been prescribed.
In more advanced cases, Dr. Poonawala can recommend surgical procedures, including minimally invasive laser surgeries, to eliminate obstructions in the meshwork and improve fluid drainage.
In addition to routine eye exams based on Dr. Poonawala’s recommendations, you can also make some changes to your lifestyle to protect your eye health.
If you have a family history of glaucoma or another eye disease, be sure to let the staff know during your consultation. This information can be vital to creating the right care plan and the timeline for eye screenings.
You should also incorporate more healthy foods into your diet and get regular exercise. Physical activity can have a positive impact on the internal pressure of your eyes.
It’s also important to protect your eyes with safety glasses when at work or engaging in certain activities. Eye injuries can cause damage to the optic nerve, increasing your risk for glaucoma.
To learn more about preventing glaucoma, schedule a consultation at Pack Optical online or by phone.