IT IS TIME TO GET YOUR EYES CHECKED FOR GLAUCOMA By Dr. James Ivanoski, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries vision information collected by the eye to the brain. If the optic nerve is damaged, vision loss occurs, and is irreversible. Most types of glaucoma are characterized by high eye pressure that can damage the optic nerve. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, vision loss can usually be slowed or halted with prescribed eye drops or surgery.
According to the Archives of Ophthalmology in 2004, it is estimated that over 3 million Americans have glaucoma, and only half of those know they have it. Glaucoma can often times be virtually symptomless. There is usually no pain associated with increased eye pressure. Vision loss with glaucoma typically begins with peripheral or side vision, and significant amounts of vision can be lost before it is noticed.
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma. The risk increases as we age. People over age 60 are more at risk to develop glaucoma. African Americans are more at risk to develop glaucoma than Caucasians. Hispanic populations tend to have a higher risk to develop glaucoma as they age. People of Asian descent are more at risk to develop angle closure glaucoma. Other risk factors for developing glaucoma include: certain medications like steroids, high nearsightedness, and thin corneas.
The best way to diagnose glaucoma is with a dilated eye examination. A survey done by the Glaucoma Research Foundation found that less than half of all adults have a dilated eye examination every two years. Glaucoma is a chronic lifelong condition that requires careful monitoring, and diagnosis is the first step in preserving vision.
Dr. Ivanoski is an Optometrist practicing at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin. He welcomes patients of all ages into his practice and accepts most insurance plans.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.