Everyone over 40 should be checked for Glaucoma at least every 5 years.
Glaucoma is often called the “silent” or “sneak” thief of the sight, because it affects your vision very gradually, often without any initial outward signs.
A disease of the optic nerve, Glaucoma is usually associated with raised pressure inside your eye which squeezes the optic nerve and this in turn kills off the nerve fibres leading to sight loss.
This condition is associated with a slow, often barely noticeable loss of your peripheral or ‘side’ vision which can eventually, if left untreated, result in tunnel vision and blindness. You should always get a check-up immediately if you notice any deterioration in your peripheral vision. However, in its very early stages, glaucoma can usually only be detected by an eye specialist.
People aged over 40 have around a 1% chance of developing glaucoma, so everyone over 40 should be checked at least every 5 years. You are also more at risk if you have a parent with the condition, in which case you should see your eye doctor more regularly
Given that the symptoms can be difficult to spot, it’s important to know when you’re at risk, and what to look out for.
The two main types of glaucoma:
“Open-angle glaucoma” – which is by far the most common form. It occurs gradually, and is often difficult to spot, so regular check-ups are essential.
“Acute closed-angle glaucoma” – a rarer form of the disease which occurs when there is a sudden blockage in the drainage canals in the eye. The pressure builds up rapidly and can cause sudden blurred vision, coloured haloes around lights, headaches and severe pain. Medical attention should be sought immediately so as to avoid severe optic nerve damage
Glaucoma treatments can be highly effective if applied early on in the development of the disease. If caught early enough, there are several treatments that can slow or even stop the disease altogether.
To find out more about this condition and how we can help please contact us.