Don’t buy into these sight-threatening misconceptions about glaucoma
May 13, 2014
The wealth of information we have available these days can make it seem
like the sky’s the limit on knowledge, but it also means the odds
of discovering misinformation are higher than ever. To make sure you’re
as equipped as possible to keep your eyes healthy, we wanted to set the
record straight when it comes to misconceptions about glaucoma. A big
“Thank you!” to Mile Brujic, O.D., from
Premier Vision Group in Ohio, for his input!
Reminder: glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve becomes damaged
as a result of increased pressure in the eye. This ultimately causes a
gradual, but serious, loss of vision. If left untreated, this disease
can result in
I would know if I had glaucoma because my eyes would hurt.
Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of sight” for a reason;
you don’t feel it until it’s already taken a serious toll
on your eyes. Dr. Brujic comments, “Although glaucoma is a result
of pressure in the eye, that doesn’t mean it’s pressure you
can feel. The only way to diagnose early glaucoma is by a comprehensive, dilated
.” Your eye doctor may determine that additional tests are needed
based on your risk factors and annual eye exam findings.
I have great vision, so I couldn’t have glaucoma.
“Even people with 20/20 vision can have glaucoma because it affects
the peripheral vision first and then moves inward where your 20/20 vision
lies,” says Dr. Brujic. “In its advanced stages, glaucoma
starts to affect central vision, so it’s important to identify the
warning signs of glaucoma before too much damage sets in.” Your
optometrist can suggest treatments and ways to prevent further vision loss.
Only elderly people get glaucoma.
Dr. Brujic explains: “Although glaucoma is more common in those who
are 50 and older, newborns, young children and even adolescents can suffer
from it. Those in the high-risk category—individuals with
, migraines, myopia, high blood pressure, a family history of glaucoma,
and/or a past or present use of steroids—are six times more likely
to suffer from glaucoma and may begin to develop the disease in their
40s (or younger).”
Glaucoma inevitably leads to blindness.
“According to The American Glaucoma Foundation, 90 percent of all
glaucoma-related blindness could have been prevented with proper treatment,”
comments Dr. Brujic. “In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of
preventable blindness. However, the damage it inflicts is not reversible.
Treatments can only slow or prevent further vision loss.”
If you think you are experiencing
symptoms of glaucoma
, visit your eye care doctor (Optometrist) for a comprehensive eye exam.