World Glaucoma Week: Can Glaucoma Be Prevented?

World Glaucoma Week: Can Glaucoma Be Prevented?

As you get older, you may notice your vision begin to worsen. It is completely normal to have some degree of vision loss as you age, however, that does mean that you will require more frequent exams with your optometrist and may require help from prescription glasses or contacts. One of the most common causes of vision loss in older age is glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve caused by increased pressure within the eye. The exact cause of glaucoma is still unknown, however, if left untreated, the disease can lead to blindness. It is imperative to receive an annual glaucoma screening if you are over the age of 65 to ensure that your vision remains stable.

How To Prevent Glaucoma

There are no known ways to prevent glaucoma, however, there are some steps you can take to delay the onset of the disease and decrease your risk of severe eye damage or blindness.

Receive Regular Eye Exams

The best way to delay the onset of glaucoma is by receiving regular eye exams. Your optometrist will be able to detect the early signs of glaucoma before you develop any symptoms. In the early stages of glaucoma, vision loss is slow, silent, and progressive. The disease typically affects the peripheral vision first, and as it progresses central vision is lost. Glaucoma medications can slow the progression of the disease by reducing the pressure within the eye to prevent damage to the optic nerve.

Individuals with no risk factors should get regular eye exams based on their age:

  • Preschool children: One eye examination between the ages of 2 and 5 years
  • School-age children (6-19): Annually
  • Adults (20-64): One eye examination every two years
  • Adults (65+): Annually

Exercise

That’s right, exercise does more for your body than just improve your fitness and help you shed some pounds. A regular program of moderate exercise is not only good for your health, but it also helps to lower the intraocular pressure inside of your eyes. Moderate exercises such as jogging or walking three or more times per week can help reduce this pressure that is caused by glaucoma. The benefits of exercising only last as long as you continue exercising. This is why moderate exercise on a routine basis is recommended. 

Protect Your Eyes From Injury

Wearing protective eyewear is important, especially when engaged in sports activities. Eye injuries are capable of triggering traumatic glaucoma causing an influx of pressure within the eye damaging the optic nerve. To prevent traumatic glaucoma and other eye injuries, ensure you are wearing goggles or protective eyeglasses when doing home improvement projects or participating in a sporting activity.

Glaucoma Screening Calgary

While it is unclear exactly what causes glaucoma and you may not be able to prevent it completely, these steps can help you ensure you have healthy eyes well into your senior years. The best way to detect and prevent glaucoma is by visiting your optometrist regularly for a glaucoma screening and comprehensive eye exam. 

To find out if you are at risk of glaucoma or if you need to book an eye exam to check the quality of your vision, contact Sunridge Eye Clinic. Our experienced optometrists can assess your vision and develop a personal treatment plan to help you see clearly. Book a comprehensive or senior eye exam today by calling 1-403-280-7518 or book online.

FAQ

Q: At what age do adults start developing glaucoma?
A: Individuals 55+ are the most at risk of developing glaucoma. 

Q: How long is a comprehensive eye exam?
A: A comprehensive eye exam will last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the tests performed by your optometrist.

Q: Is there a cure for glaucoma?
A: Unfortunately there is no cure for glaucoma. There are some treatments that can halt the progression of the disease such as prescribed medications.


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