Your height, weight, and eye color are influenced to some degree by the genes inherited from your ancestors. Unfortunately, you can also inherit an increased risk for developing certain eye condit ...View Article
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Eye diseases such as glaucoma are leading causes of blindness, but timely diagnosis and treatment can help sufferers retain optimal vision. Our Dentsville and Columbia eye doctor at Apex EyeCare, Dr. McClay can detect and help manage this condition.
The eye produces a constant amount of a fluid called the aqueous humour, with excess fluid escape through a drainage mesh at the front of the eye. If this mesh cannot perform its jobs adequately, the buildup in pressure damages the optic nerves. This is glaucoma.
There are a number of factors that can impact your risk of developing glaucoma, from genetics to environment. It’s important that you identify these risk factors and consult with an eye doctor.
Age - Glaucoma risk rises after the age of 40.
Genetics - It's possible to inherit a tendency toward glaucoma. Family history and African, Asian or Native Alaskan heritage can raise the risk.
High blood pressure - High blood pressure can affect aqueous humour levels, boosting intraocular pressure. Low blood pressure can also be a factor in glaucoma.
Heart disease - Heart disease and related conditions such as hardening of the arteries can affect blood vessel efficiency, allowing the optic nerve tissues to die from insufficient blood supply.
Diabetes - Diabetes can damage the tiny blood vessels that nourish the eye, impairing circulation. This reduces the available blood supply to the optic nerve.
Eye disease or injury - A previous eye disease or injury could compromise the efficiency of the eye's drainage system, making glaucoma more likely to occur.
Medications - Certain medications such as corticosteroids can elevate your risk for developing glaucoma.
Glaucoma can develop slowly for many years without displaying any vision symptoms at all. Open-angle glaucoma (the most common kind) robs you of your peripheral vision before damaging central vision. Angle-closure glaucoma can cause sudden, extensive vision loss without immediate treatment; it also produces symptoms such as nausea, vomiting intense eye pain and headaches.
The absence of early-stage symptoms means you must schedule regular eye exams so this condition can be caught as early as possible. Our Columbia eye doctor can measure your fluid pressure, view your optic nerves and evaluate your peripheral vision to determine whether you might have glaucoma.
Fortunately, glaucoma can be managed and controlled through a variety of treatment options, even if the damage that has already occurred can't be reversed. Eye drops might be all that's necessary to control your eye's fluid production and/or improve drainage mesh efficiency. If eye drops aren't sufficient, we can also supplement them with oral medications. Even advanced or angle-close glaucoma cases can be treated with advanced laser surgery methods that alter the drainage mechanisms in the eye. Our Columbia and Dentsville optometrist can tell you whether such a procedure is necessary and co-manage that treatment with your eye surgeon.
Don't allow glaucoma to damage your eyes and restrict your vision. Call us today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam to detect this condition so you can get the care you need!