When to Get Tested for Glaucoma: Age, Risk Factors, and Early Detection

When to Get Tested for Glaucoma: Age, Risk Factors, and Early Detection

When to Get Tested for Glaucoma: Age, Risk Factors, and Early Detection

When to Get Tested for Glaucoma: Age, Risk Factors, and Early Detection

When to Get Tested for Glaucoma: Age, Risk Factors, and Early Detection

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye and can lead to blindness if not treated promptly and properly. The tricky part about glaucoma is that it's a sneaky adversary. In the early stages, there may be no symptoms at all, and the gradual loss of vision can initially go unnoticed.

Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma

When it comes to glaucoma, being vigilant about changes in your vision is key. For the most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, symptoms are often absent until the condition has progressed significantly. This is why it's nicknamed the silent thief; it can take your sight gradually without warning. When symptoms do appear, they may include patchy blind spots in your peripheral or central vision, typically in both eyes.

In contrast, angle-closure glaucoma, also known as acute glaucoma, can present with dramatic symptoms that demand immediate medical attention. These can include severe headache, eye pain, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, halos around lights, and eye redness. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's crucial to seek help straight away as this form of glaucoma can cause rapid vision loss.

When to Get Tested for Glaucoma

As you age, your risk for developing glaucoma increases. It's generally recommended that comprehensive eye exams, including tests for glaucoma, should become a regular part of your healthcare routine starting at the age of 40. For those over 60, the risk of glaucoma becomes even higher, and more frequent testing may be advised. If you fall into these age brackets or are approaching them, it's wise to start a conversation with your eye care professional about glaucoma screening.

While age is a significant risk factor, it's not the only one. You should also consider your family history, as glaucoma can be hereditary. If you have a parent or sibling with glaucoma, your risk of developing the disease could be much higher. Other risk factors include high intraocular pressure, a history of eye injury or certain eye surgeries, and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sickle cell anemia. Ethnic background plays a role too—people of African, Asian, or Hispanic descent are at greater risk.

There are also lifestyle-related factors that can influence your glaucoma risk. Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, particularly eye drops, can elevate your risk. It's also been suggested that severe myopia, central corneal thickness, and even low physical exercise can be associated with glaucoma. Given this array of factors, it's evident that knowing your risk profile is a critical step in determining when to get tested for glaucoma.

The Importance of Early Glaucoma Detection

The silent nature of glaucoma makes early detection both challenging and crucial. By the time you notice any loss in vision, the disease may have already caused irreversible damage. But why is early detection so important? Because the earlier glaucoma is diagnosed, the more effectively it can be treated and the better the chances of preserving your vision.

With early detection, treatment options such as prescription eye drops, laser treatment, or surgery can help to slow or prevent further vision loss. Regular monitoring allows for adjustments in treatment if necessary, helping to maintain your quality of life.

Taking Control of Your Eye Health

Don't wait for symptoms to alert you to the presence of glaucoma. Schedule comprehensive eye exams at the intervals recommended by your eye doctor and be mindful of the risk factors that pertain to you. By doing so, you're taking a significant step toward safeguarding your vision and maintaining your quality of life.

If you are experiencing changes in your vision or for further guidance on when to get tested for glaucoma, contact our professionals at Loman Eye Care in our Carmel, Indiana, office. Please call (317) 844-7474 to schedule an appointment today.

admin none 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Closed Closed 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM optometrist # # # https://appointments.4patientcare.app/?CoverKey=4684&LocKey=11159&Source=website&ReferredBy=website