January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, which is the perfect time to educate communities about one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that affects millions of people every day, with the number growing every year. The experienced healthcare professionals at Nevada Eye Physicians hope to inform patients about the risks and signs of glaucoma as well as treatment options.
What is glaucoma and how does it develop? In the vast majority of cases, glaucoma does not occur until later in life, but it can happen at any age. It occurs when the fluid pressure in the eye rises to an above-average level, causing damage to the optic nerve. When left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blurred vision or even blindness. Unfortunately, since blurry vision is often attributed to old age, many people don’t realize they have glaucoma.
To get a diagnosis, schedule an eye examination at one of our locations in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Henderson, Pahrump, and Boulder City, NV. After an assessment of your medical history and symptoms, we can create a plan of action to preserve your eyesight and prevent glaucoma from progressing to a dangerous level. Learn more about National Glaucoma Awareness Month and eye exams by making an appointment with Nevada Eye Physicians today.
What is glaucoma?
The fluid that circulates in the eye is known as aqueous humor. When circulation in the area is blocked, the liquid begins to build up. As pressure continues to mount in the eye, the optic nerve becomes damaged, leading to vision loss. Though we are unsure what causes the blockage to happen in the first place, we do know that genetics play a role. Other conditions, such as blocked blood vessels or previous eye injuries, are also factors that may cause glaucoma. Individuals at particular risk for glaucoma include:
- African-American patients over the age of 40
- Any individual over the age of 60
- Patients with a family history of glaucoma
- Those with medical conditions such as diabetes
Common signs of glaucoma
Signs of glaucoma often develop slowly, so patients can live with this eye condition for a long time before it becomes a major issue. If you need to squint to read a computer screen or road signs while driving, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Squinting or getting drugstore magnifying glasses is only a temporary fix, and is not a sustainable way to address the real issue. There are certain signs of glaucoma, such as blurry vision, that should be brought to the attention of a doctor as soon as possible. These include:
- Halos around bright lights
- Reddening of the eye
- Nausea or vomiting
- Headaches or eye pain
To protect your eyes, visit Nevada Eye Physicians so we can conduct an eye exam. We may conduct assessments such as visual acuity testing and basic visual field testing during the appointment. At this time, we may be able to provide a diagnosis and a glaucoma treatment plan based on the severity of your condition.
Glaucoma treatment options
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you may have some questions about your treatment options. For some patients, the choice is not difficult since all treatments in some way revolve around lowering the pressure in the eye. Eye drops, medications, or surgery could potentially be used at various stages of the disease. Your doctor at Nevada Eye Physicians will review the pros and cons of each glaucoma treatment and answer any questions you may have.
Following treatment, patients are given aftercare instructions to follow at home so they can heal properly. Additional treatments may be needed after laser surgery since the effects could wear off over time. We educate patients about glaucoma during National Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, and we will continue to stress the importance of protecting your eyes to lower your risk of vision loss all year long. We will also schedule follow-up visits as needed to continue to monitor the pressure in the eyes.
Contact us about your glaucoma concerns
Once glaucoma causes vision loss, it cannot be restored. We encourage you to learn about the signs of this eye condition and reach out to an eye doctor if you are concerned about your eyesight. Take control of your eye health in the new year with the help of Nevada Eye Physicians. We can address your questions such as “What is glaucoma?” and “Am I at risk?”
Nevada Eye Physicians has eight convenient locations in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Henderson, Pahrump, and Boulder City, NV. We employ highly skilled and experienced eye doctors who provide comprehensive glaucoma treatments and examinations. Our state-of-the-art technology and innovative facilities allow us to perform effective procedures to protect your eye health and vision. We invite you to contact our eye clinic in Nevada to schedule your next appointment and find out what we can offer.