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What You Should Know About Glaucoma

January 21, 2023 Pegalis Law Group

What You Should Know About Glaucoma

As one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness among U.S. adults, glaucoma is a disease that can impact anyone at any time. While there’s no cure for glaucoma, it can be slowed or stopped when diagnosed and treated early. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, a time to reflect on the causes and symptoms of glaucoma to educate people and lessen its impact. Below, Pegalis Law Group, LLC sheds light on what you should know about glaucoma to remain proactive about your family’s healthcare.

What Is Glaucoma? Who’s Most at Risk of Developing Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease impacting the eye’s optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting visual signals from the eye’s retina to the brain. Glaucoma causes increased eye pressure and excess fluid build-up inside the eye that damages the optic nerve over time, gradually leading to vision loss and permanent blindness. Although anyone can develop glaucoma, people over 60 and those with a family history of glaucoma are most at risk. Certain racial groups may also be at a higher risk, including people of African American, Hispanic, and East or Southeast Asian descent. People with a history of eye trauma or chronic eye conditions, such as those caused by diabetes, are also at a greater risk.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Glaucoma?

At least half of the people with glaucoma won’t know they have it until the damage is done because glaucoma symptoms often go unnoticed. Common glaucoma symptoms include:

  • Blind spots in your peripheral vision
  • Blurred or tunnel vision
  • Halos or colored rings around lights
  • Eye redness
  • Severe headaches or eye pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Central vision loss in advanced stages

How Is Glaucoma Detected and Treated?

Comprehensive eye exams diagnose glaucoma and other eye diseases. It’s critical to have regular eye exams over the age of 40. The two main types of glaucoma are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. The type of glaucoma you have depends on the drainage pathway of the excess fluid in the front of your eye. While glaucoma can’t be prevented or cured, it can be treated with various medicines, laser treatment, or surgery. Prescription pressure-lowering eye drops are the most common early treatment option and should be taken as prescribed, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Ongoing research gives doctors a better understanding of the disease to ensure safe, effective treatments.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Glaucoma

Glaucoma impacts millions of Americans every year. Receiving a glaucoma diagnosis can be stressful and overwhelming. As a proactive patient, you should be prepared to have an open, honest discussion with your doctor. It’s important to know which type of glaucoma you have and educate yourself about available treatment options. Knowledge is power. Ask about possible side effects from glaucoma treatments and what will happen if you don’t get treated. Ask about activities you should avoid and if there’s anything you can do to help protect your vision and slow the glaucoma progression. Your doctor should be able to tell you what to expect now and in the future regarding your vision.

Working to Create Proactive Patients for the Past 50 Years

As a New York-based personal injury and medical malpractice law firm for 50 years, Pegalis Law Group, LLC is committed to creating proactive patients and increasing public awareness about health concerns like glaucoma. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional insights about being proactive about your family’s healthcare.