In recognition of Glaucoma Awareness Month, Home Care Assistance urges you to pay attention to your eye health and know the early warning signs of one of the most common eye diseases that is associated with older age: glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that causes damage to the optic nerve, a bundle of fibers that transmits signals from the retina to the brain, and often results in vision loss. According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness globally, but early detection and treatment will help you in preserving your sight.
Glaucoma does not show obvious symptoms early on, so it is important to consult your optometrist as soon as you notice any of the following changes in vision:
- Difficulties with Lighting: Squinting or blinking due to unusual light sensitivity or difficulty adjusting your vision in dark rooms may be warning signs of gradual vision loss.
- Problems with Focusing: Glaucoma may make focusing on objects difficult, as lines and edges of objects appear wavy or blurry. Double vision is another concern and should be discussed with an eye physician.
- Seeing Spots: Seeing spots in your field of vision or a single dark spot in the center are potential warning signs of glaucoma.
- Physical Symptoms of Eyes: Those with glaucoma may experience dry, burning eyes, excessively watery eyes, red-rimmed or swollen eyelids, or general pain in or around the eyes.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please visit your optometrist to test for glaucoma and discuss any other eye health concerns. Glaucoma cannot be cured but early treatment methods can delay progression of the disease and prevent vision decline.
If you are not experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is still important to schedule a full eye exam at least once every twelve months to ensure optimal eye health. For more information on vision, how it works, common vision problems and solutions, read The Five Senses: A Sensible Guide to Sensory Loss, one of Home Care Assistance’s award-winning books in its’ senior wellness series.
World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/82/11/feature1104/en/