How Quickly Can Glaucoma Develop?
According to the most recent CDC numbers, about three million Americans aged 40 or older suffer from glaucoma. Worldwide, glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness. Often there are no early symptoms and as many as half of people with glaucoma aren’t aware they have it. That’s why at Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX, our experienced team of doctors provides glaucoma testing and treatment to help keep your eyes healthy and seeing clearly.
How Does Glaucoma Develop?
The internal structure of your eyes is always creating a liquid called aqueous humor. This liquid helps to maintain the internal pressure of your eyes and nourish the lens and cornea. If this liquid cannot properly drain, the internal pressure in your eyes can reach abnormally high levels. This condition is known as glaucoma. This high eye pressure can damage your optic nerve, and if left untreated can degrade your vision or even lead to blindness. While the exact causes still aren’t fully understood, physicians believe these factors contribute to the development of glaucoma:
- High blood pressure
- Some medications (ex: corticosteroids)
- Restricted or blocked eye drainage
- Poor blood flow to the optic nerve
- Dilating eye drops
People of any age can be affected by glaucoma, but generally, it is more common in those aged 60 or older.
How Quickly Can Glaucoma Develop?
In most cases, glaucoma develops slowly, without warning. This is why our team at Focal Point Vision stresses the importance of regular eye exams, especially for people aged 60 or older. Early-onset glaucoma can lead to blindness in as little as 15 years if left untreated. If the pressure in the eye is excessively high, caused, for example, by a chronic medical condition like hypertension (high blood pressure), glaucoma can develop much faster.
What Are Symptoms Of Glaucoma?
Many people may not even have any symptoms of glaucoma. However, there are a few warning signs to watch for that if experienced, should be examined by an experienced eye doctor. One of the most common types of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma. Symptoms of this type of glaucoma include:
- Intense eye pain
- Sudden onset blurred vision
- Seeing rings (halos) around lights
- Disturbances in your vision
- Eye redness
What Are The Risk Factors For Glaucoma?
Glaucoma can affect anyone at any age. There are however certain risk factors for glaucoma. These include:
- Your age – people over the age of 60 are at increased risk of developing glaucoma
- Your ethnicity – people of African and Asian descent are at a higher risk for glaucoma
- Your genetics – certain kinds of glaucoma tend to run in families, so if you have a family history of glaucoma you may be at higher risk
- Your medical history – if you have heart disease or high blood pressure, you may be at higher risk for glaucoma
- Your medication – if you’ve used corticosteroids for an extended time, you may have an increased risk for glaucoma
- Your eye problems – thin corneas and chronic eye inflammation can lead to higher internal eye pressure and risk for glaucoma
If you have any of these risk factors it is vital to get your eyes regularly checked by a doctor to catch glaucoma early and have it treated.
Get Tested And Treated For Glaucoma
Many people with glaucoma aren’t even aware they have it, often not finding out until they have an eye exam. Focal Point Vision’s highly trained team of doctors can examine your eyes for an accurate diagnosis and then create a plan to treat your glaucoma. We provide a variety of treatments for glaucoma including ExPress Shunt, MIGS surgery, iStent®, Kahook Dual Blade, and SLT (selective laser trabeculoplasty). Don’t let glaucoma rob you of your most precious resource: your eyesight. Call Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX, and schedule an eye exam today.