Ways to Catch Glaucoma Early

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve in the eye. When the optic nerve is damaged, it impairs the visual information the eye sends to the brain. A healthy optic nerve is vital for good vision. While glaucoma can occur in someone with normal eye pressure, those with high pressure in their eyes are more susceptible to glaucoma. 

Glaucoma can occur at any age but is more common in the elderly. It is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60, so it’s important to know the symptoms, as well as what you can do to prevent it in your

Elder Care Carrollton, GA: Glaucoma Awareness Month

Elder Care Carrollton, GA: Glaucoma Awareness Month

loved one. 

While early glaucoma often has no symptoms at all, as the disease progresses, it can have several symptoms depending upon which type of glaucoma it is. If your loved one complains to you or his elder care team about any of these issues, he should have an appointment made to have his eyes examined. 

Open-angle Glaucoma Symptoms include:

  • Gradually, patchy blind spots in the peripheral vision, or the things your loved one sees on the sides of his line of sight. If he tells you or his elder care provider that he cannot see things on the outer edges of his vision, he might have open-angle glaucoma developing. 
  • In later stages, your loved one may have difficulty seeing things in his central vision as well. 

Normal-tension glaucoma

  • There are no symptoms in the early stages and can often only be detected during a routine eye exam. That’s why it’s so important for your loved one to have normal eye exams. An elder care provider can help with rides to and from the appointment if it’s needed. 
  • Gradually, his vision will start to blur. If he wears glasses, he might think he needs a new prescription. 
  • In later stages, his side vision will disappear.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma

  • A severe headache
  • Intense eye pain
  • Possible nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • The eyes might appear red
  • Your loved one might see halos or colored rings around lights

The good news about glaucoma is that if it is caught early, it can be managed and your loved one may not suffer from much vision loss. The number one way to prevent vision loss is to have your loved one receive regular comprehensive eye exams. They can detect glaucoma before any damage occurs. If your loved one is older than 65, he should receive a full exam every 1-2 years. If it is determined he is a high risk, they may recommend he has the testing more often. 

Some factors that increase the risk of developing glaucoma are:

  • Being older than 55
  • Having high internal eye pressure
  • Being black, Hispanic, or Asian
  • Having a family member who had glaucoma
  • Living with some medical conditions, such as migraines, diabetes, high blood pressure, and sickle cell anemia
  • If his corneas are thin in the center
  • Suffering from extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness
  • Having received an eye injury or surgery in the past
  • Taking corticosteroid medicines, especially eye drops, for an extended time

Your loved one’s vision is important. January is a great month to get it checked out and make sure it’ll stay strong.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Carrollton, GA please contact the caring staff at Universal Home Care And Services, Inc today.  (678) 426-2701

Becky Back