Glaucoma: What You Need to Know
Your eyes are extremely sensitive to changes in your body. High blood pressure is one condition that can have a big impact on your vision. Left uncontrolled, high blood pressure contributes to the development of glaucoma. Rather than just one disease, this group of conditions can slowly steal your eyesight and leave you severely impaired or completely blind. With help from the vision experts at Eye Care Center in the Charlotte and Ballantyne areas, you can protect your vision from the damaging effects of this degenerative condition.
What is Glaucoma?
The optic nerve transmits images to the brain for processing. This thin vein-like structure depends on a fluid called aqueous humor to keep it moist and provide nourishment. Under normal circumstances, this fluid flows freely around the entire eye structure and drains meshwork system.
High blood pressure causes the restriction of blood vessels throughout the body. This includes the meshwork that supports a healthy optic nerve. Over time, this meshwork can become damaged or blocked and impede the flow of fluids through the eye's structure. As the fluid builds up, it exerts pressure on the optic nerve itself. This constant pressure slowly damages the optic nerve and robs glaucoma sufferers of their eyesight.
Once the optic nerve is damaged, the patient's ability to see clearly becomes compromised. While glaucoma is highly treatable, vision loss from this condition is not reversible.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Many patients can avoid serious vision problems by seeing an optometry expert when they first notice possible symptoms. Some things that may indicate glaucoma include:
- Patchy spots in your peripheral (side) field of vision.
- Headaches caused by eye strain.
- Blurry vision, even when wearing corrective lenses.
- Red eyes without the presence of an identifiable irritant.
- Halos around lights when viewed directly.
In the advanced stages, sufferers may develop tunnel vision. This symptom makes it difficult to accurately view objects that aren't directly centered in the sufferer's field of vision.
High blood pressure isn't the only contributor to the development of this condition. Other factors include:
- Physical abnormalities in the eye, particularly the cornea or iris.
- Being an older patient (over 60 years old).
- Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness.
- Eye injuries or previous surgical procedures to eye structures.
- Certain medications, such as corticosteroids.
The best way to prevent glaucoma-impaired vision is to schedule regular check-ups with your optometry team.
Eye Care Center: Your Source for Glaucoma Care in Ballantyne and Charlotte
Early detection is the key to preventing long term and irreversible damage from glaucoma. The optometry team at Eye Care Center can help you find the source of your vision problems, then devise a plan to reduce the effects on your eyesight. Contact us with your questions and concerns about glaucoma. You can call us at (704) 541-5500!