What is Glaucoma and How You Can Help to Prevent It

Glaucoma is a condition where the pressure inside your eye increases. If a buildup of pressure pushes against the optic nerve, significant nerve damage can occur, which can lead to vision loss or blindness. Vision loss cannot be recovered, so early detection is crucial. The skilled care from our optometrist at Family Vision Clinic in Farmington, MN, can help detect the early warning signs of glaucoma.


What Causes Glaucoma?

The following causes can bring about this condition:

  • Deteriorating Optic Nerve: As we age, our optic nerve will degenerate. As a result, the optic nerve is not able to handle normal eye pressure. As the nerve continues to deteriorate, blind spots will start to occur. 
  • Improper Eye Pressure Drainage: One way your eye maintains proper pressure is by relieving the fluid from the eye through the trabecular meshwork. If this outlet becomes blocked or is not working properly, then pressure can build up within the eye. If your eye pressure is building up faster than the trabecular meshwork can relieve it, then glaucoma can develop.
  • Inherited: Some families pass on traits associated with elevated eye pressure and optic nerve weaknesses.
  • Other: Blunt force trauma to the eye, chemical injury, inflammation, blocked blood vessels, high blood pressure, or the result of an illness or disease can cause glaucoma. 

What Symptoms Are Related to Glaucoma?

Depending on the type of glaucoma you are experiencing, symptoms will vary. However, common symptoms include:

  • Blind spots either in your peripheral vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Seeing a halo around a light source
  • Headache on the side of the affected eye
  • Extreme eye pain, possibly a throbbing pain
  • Redness of the eye
  • Nausea and vomiting

How to Prevent Glaucoma

Not all glaucoma can be prevented, and some causes are beyond our control. However, there are several precautions we can perform to lower the chances of us developing glaucoma, such as: 

  • Regular Comprehensive Eye Exams: Eye exams can detect early signs of glaucoma before any damage can occur to your vision. Your optometrist will review your health and family history, conduct various tests, and provide treatment that meets your needs.
  • Protect Your Eyes: Eye safety during exercise, sports, and work is an important preventative measure you can take. Severe eye injuries can lead to glaucoma.
  • Take Eye Drops As Prescribed: Medicated eye drops can reduce the pressure in the eye and aid with decreasing the amount of the fluid in the eye produce, allowing it to drain properly.

Your Farmington Optometrist Can Help You Protect Your Sight From Glaucoma

The professional staff at Family Vision Clinic in Farmington, MN, are skilled in helping you maintain your vision and healthy eyes. Give us a call at 651-463-2020 or come in to meet our staff and make an appointment. We are committed to excellence in caring for your eyes. 


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