Get Glaucoma Savvy in January

By Kindred Healthcare

Glaucoma, which is often hereditary, results from a build-up of fluid inside the eye that presses on the optic nerve damaging it and leading to loss of vision. There are often no early symptoms of glaucoma, which is why regular vision exams are so important, especially after the age of 40.

Get Glaucoma Savvy in January

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma affects over 2.2 million Americans, but only about half of those know they have it. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, and those at highest risk are people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics and people who are severely nearsighted.

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease, and most people with open-angle glaucoma don’t experience symptoms until some loss of vision has already occurred. Loss of peripheral vision might be the first noticeable symptom.

Acute, or narrow-angle glaucoma, is less common and is a medical emergency. Symptoms may include sudden throbbing pain and redness in the eye, headaches on the same side as the affected eye, blurred vision, halos around lights, a dilated pupil and sometimes nausea and vomiting, according to WebMD. If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, you should go to an emergency room immediately.

There are medications and surgery available to help control glaucoma, which is why early detection is so important.

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