Are There Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma?
The thought of developing glaucoma can be distressing, especially because there is currently no cure. It can often go undetected in its early stages due to the subtlety of the symptoms. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause a loss of peripheral vision, blind spots, and even total blindness. Unfortunately, because there are relatively few to no early warning signs, any damage to the eye is often irreversible as the condition progresses.
The good news is glaucoma can be detected early even if you don’t realize you have it. Treatments are available to prevent the damage from getting worse, and your best weapon for early detection is through regularly scheduled comprehensive eye exams and glaucoma screenings. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Stephen Wilmarth and the experts at Wilmarth Eye and Laser Center in Roseville, CA are highly skilled in identifying glaucoma and finding a treatment that will help protect your eyesight and reduce the risk of vision loss.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a series of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve located in the back of the eye. This nerve is an extension of your central nervous system, which is responsible for transmitting sensory information to the brain, making it possible to see.
Healthy eyes constantly produce a nourishing fluid that flows throughout the front of the eye to keep the pressure within the eye stabilized. When this process is interrupted, and the fluid fails to drain, pressure can build up and press against the optic nerve, causing damage to the nerve fibers over time. As these nerve fibers start to deteriorate and eventually die, you will begin to develop blind spots in your vision. Once all the fibers die, there will be a total loss of vision.
Who is at risk for developing glaucoma?
Often referred to as the “silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is complicated because there are many forms of the disease, and its cause is unknown in most cases. It is estimated that nearly 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma, and it is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You may be at a higher risk of developing glaucoma if you are:
Over the age of 60
African American and over the age of 40
Extremely farsighted or nearsighted
Suffering from health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or sickle cell anemia
At Wilmarth Eye and Laser Center in Roseville, CA, we urge everyone over the age of 40, high risk or not, to be actively engaged in their eye health. This means regular glaucoma screenings and comprehensive eye exams. Since our eyesight typically doesn’t improve with age, these interventions will help catch eye diseases in the early stages so these conditions can be managed or treated.
How is glaucoma treated?
As we stated earlier, glaucoma can rob you of your vision and produce other debilitating symptoms depending on the type and timing of the condition. Patients near Roseville or Sacramento with open-angle glaucoma may develop blind spots in peripheral vision, usually in both eyes. As the condition advances, they may experience tunnel vision. Those with acute angle-closure glaucoma may experience headaches (sometimes severe) and eye pain, blurred vision or halos that appear around lights, and nausea and vomiting.
Dr. Wilmarth is highly skilled and experienced in treating glaucoma and relieving the symptoms with cutting-edge techniques and surgeries, including MIGS (micro-invasive glaucoma surgery), which is one of the most advanced and effective treatments for serious cases. The MIGS technique is minimally invasive, highly effective, safe, and has a speedy recovery time.
Contact us today to learn more about how to treat and manage your glaucoma
Your eyesight is very important to your quality of life. While early warnings signs of glaucoma are rare, you can help protect your eye health with regularly scheduled dilated eye exams and glaucoma screenings at Wilmarth Eye and Laser Center in Roseville, CA. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Stephen Wilmarth provides the best possible eye care by using cutting-edge techniques and the most innovative technologies related to eye health. We gladly serve our patients near Roseville and Sacramento, CA, so contact us today to schedule a consultation.