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How to Recognize and Prevent Glaucoma

by Jamie Peters

When did your eye doctor in La Mesa, CA, last check your eyes for signs of glaucoma? If you can’t remember, it is probably time to make an appointment. Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that damages your optic nerve and progresses to irreversible loss of eyesight, making it the second leading cause of vision loss. Read on to learn how you can recognize and prevent glaucoma.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

There are two types of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma does not usually present any noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Instead, it develops slowly, and because it takes over peripheral vision first, most people do not notice vision loss for years. For this reason, it is usually in very advanced stages before a person takes action.

Angle-closure glaucoma develops quickly and presents itself in the form of several symptoms. People suffering from the disease may notice their vision becomes hazy or blurry, or they may see rainbow-colored circles when looking directly at bright lights. They may also suffer from nausea, vomiting or severe pain in the eyes and head. Angle-closure glaucoma is considered rare.

Are You at Risk?

While anybody can develop glaucoma, several factors seem to be linked to a higher chance of suffering from the disease. It most commonly affects people over the age of 60, especially if there is a family history of the disease or if they are of Asian or Hispanic descent. Steroid users or those who suffer from hypertension or have had an eye injury are also more likely to develop glaucoma.

How to Prevent the Disease

Regular eye exams are the biggest key to preventing glaucoma. If you are over 40 years old, you should have an eye exam every four years. If you are older than 65, have one every two years. However, if there is a history of glaucoma in the family, it is important to schedule exams more often and in accordance with your eye doctor’s recommendations. You can also prevent the disease by exercising to reduce eye pressure, wearing protective eyewear in dangerous environments and using prescription eye drops as directed. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Starr, O.D. or Dr. Cauchi, O.D. to receive a comprehensive glaucoma eye exam in La Mesa.

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