Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve, usually but not always associated with high pressure in the eye. Eye doctors first see Glaucoma in changes to the optic nerve, the fine nerve fibers that enter the nerve, or in tests of the side vision. Unfortunately, the damage to the eye from Glaucoma is permanent once it occurs. This is why prevention and early detection are so important.
There are a number of risk factors or associations for Glaucoma risk that have been known for a long time. The most important risk is having a family history of Glaucoma, especially if a family member has had a severe loss of vision from Glaucoma. Other known risks include diabetes and certain family heritages (African-Americans have a much higher risk to develop Glaucoma). Of course, the greatest risk factor is age, as the risk to develop Glaucoma goes up dramatically as we age.
A recent study has confirmed that MYOPIA, being nearsighted, is a risk for Glaucoma. People who have a nearsighted prescription of greater than -3.00 have TWICE the risk of developing Glaucoma as people with little or no myopia, or people with farsightedness or hyperopia. Simply being nearsighted does not mean you will get Glaucoma, but if you have any other risk factors and you are also nearsighted you should consider having your eye doctor do a complete evaluation to rule out this severe, potentially blinding disease.
Feel free to call us at Skyvision centers if you live in Cleveland and have any questions about Glaucoma.