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Ever heard of the "sneak thief of sight"? It's glaucoma, and it's estimated to affect at least 3 million Americans according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. At New Vision Optical, our Wilmette optometry team wants every person to understand this common cause of vision loss.
Glaucoma is a broad medical term that includes a few different types of diseases which impair the optic nerve—the neurological and physical "wire" or connection between the eyes and the brain. While it's most common among older adults, anyone (even young babies) can have glaucoma, as it can be caused by both genetic and environmental factors.
In the most common form of glaucoma, known as open-angle glaucoma, the canal through which inner eye fluid normally drains is open but the fluid flows through it too slowly, causing it to back up. This can cause an increase in eye pressure and ultimately damage to the optic nerve where it connects to the back of the eye.
Specific risk factors for glaucoma include smoking, history of eye surgery or injury, high blood pressure, diabetes, farsightedness or nearsightedness, family history of glaucoma, age over 40, or increased inner eye pressure. Interestingly, having increased inner eye pressure does not necessarily mean that a person will get glaucoma.
Unfortunately, glaucoma often develops with no warning signs or symptoms—which is why early detection and regular screening with an optometrist is so important! If glaucoma symptoms do show up, they may include loss of peripheral vision or total vision loss (later on). At New Vision Optical Wilmette, we can detect the presence of glaucoma and many other eye conditions before symptoms develop and initiate treatment sooner.
To diagnose glaucoma, our Wilmette optometrist team will use specialized eye drops to dilate your pupils so they can see the inside of your eyes in greater detail. We'll measure the inner eye pressure and test other aspects of your vision and eye health to determine a diagnosis.
While there's no current cure for glaucoma, it can be managed through a variety of evidence-based treatments and services, including:
Contact our Wilmette optometry clinic now at 847-251-3330 and located at 120 Skokie Blvd to schedule an appointment with our optometry and optician team, and to learn more about common eye conditions like glaucoma.
Want to give a shout out to Patrick Takata at New Vision. Stopped in for a minor repair on my sunglasses and not only did he take care of it right away, he did it for no charge. I would highly recommend this business!