Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and even blindness. It is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, and it is estimated that over 3 million Americans have glaucoma. Here are some important facts seniors should know about glaucoma:
- Glaucoma often has no symptoms in the early stages. Therefore it is called the silent thief of sight. It is important for seniors to have regular eye exams to detect glaucoma early on.
- Glaucoma is more common in people over the age of 60. The risk of developing glaucoma increases with age, and it is more common in African Americans and Hispanics.
- There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle and angle-closure. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type and develops slowly over time. Angle-closure glaucoma is less common but can be more severe and require immediate treatment.
- High eye pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma. Eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP), measures the fluid pressure inside the eye. Normal eye pressure ranges from 10-21 mm Hg. If the eye pressure is too high, it can damage the optic nerve.
- Glaucoma can be treated with medication or surgery. Medications, such as eye drops and pills, can help lower eye pressure and slow the progression of glaucoma. Surgery, such as laser trabeculoplasty or a trabeculectomy, can also lower eye pressure.
- Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be managed. While there is no cure for glaucoma, early detection and treatment can help prevent vision loss. It is vital for seniors to follow their treatment plan and have regular eye exams to manage their glaucoma.
- Glaucoma can be inherited. A senior with a family history of glaucoma is at an increased risk of developing the condition. It is essential for seniors with a family history of glaucoma to have regular eye exams to detect the condition early on.
- Wearing glasses or contact lenses may not prevent glaucoma. While glasses and contact lenses can correct vision problems, they do not prevent glaucoma. It is important for seniors to have regular eye exams, even if they do not have any vision problems.
In addition to the above facts, seniors need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of glaucoma. While glaucoma often has no symptoms in the early stages, some signs to look out for include blurry vision, seeing halos around lights, difficulty adapting to low-light environments, and loss of peripheral vision. If a senior experiences any of these symptoms, it is essential to see an eye doctor immediately.
It is also important for seniors to take steps to protect their eyes from glaucoma. Some things seniors can do to reduce their risk include maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood pressure and diabetes, avoiding eye injuries and wearing protective eyewear when necessary. Overall, glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can lead to vision loss and blindness. It is important for seniors to be aware of their risk factors and to have regular eye exams to detect glaucoma early on. If a senior is diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important to follow their treatment plan and take steps to protect their eyes to manage the condition and prevent vision loss.
At Effraim Home Care, our highly skilled care staff can assist with an extensive range of home care needs. Our skilled staff are trained to provide support with daily activities, prepare nutritious meals, safe exercise plans, offer medication reminders and take you to doctors’ appointments, eye exams and the pharmacy. Contact us at (215) 826-7422 to learn more about our Abington area home care services. To see if we service your community, visit our full list of service areas.