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Information about Glaucoma from Our Local Ocala Optometrist
You've probably experienced a glaucoma test, that checkup where our Ocala eye doctor or the medical technician checks the pressure in your eye, but do you know why? We are testing for the early signs of glaucoma, the second-leading cause of blindness in the world. Because glaucoma doesn't have any early symptoms that you can notice on your own, it's important that you have it checked each time you come in for your regular eye examination. The earlier our optometrist can diagnose your glaucoma, the sooner we can begin your treatment, which can delay or prevent permanent damage or even blindness.
What is Glaucoma?
Your eyeball is filled with nutritional fluid that's constantly moving in and out through a series of openings. If one of these openings is blocked, the fluid can build up in the eye, increasing the pressure inside. If left untreated, this can irreversibly damage the optic nerve, which carries pictures to the brain.
The main cause of most cases of glaucoma is unknown, but we do know that certain people are more likely to develop it. You’re at greater risk of developing glaucoma if you are:
- African American
- Overweight or have high blood pressure
- A smoker
- Someone who rarely exercises
- Are nearsighted
- Have a family history of glaucoma
For almost all patients, there are absolutely no symptoms during the early phases of glaucoma. It can often progress undetected until significant damage has already been done to the optic nerve, causing permanent vision loss. Eventually, patients can experience halos, peripheral visual field loss, and blurry vision.
Eye Doctor in Ocala Discusses Glaucoma Treatment
Once our eye doctor in Ocala diagnoses glaucoma, he or she can begin treating your eyes to delay or prevent damage to your eyesight. The first line of treatment is often eye drops to lower your eye pressure. Since glaucoma is painless and often without symptoms, many patients become casual about using the drops on a strict schedule, but it's crucial that you use them exactly as prescribed for them to work. You should know that a major cause of blindness from glaucoma is not using the medication as directed, so it's key to follow directions exactly as ordered.
If the eye drops fail to slow down the progression of glaucoma, our doctor can refer you to a surgeon for more aggressive treatments in the form of lasers or glaucoma surgery to prevent further damage.
Contact Ritz & Johnson Fashion Eyecare Center for More Information Today!
If you have any questions about glaucoma or any other eye diseases, or if you're overdue for your latest eye examination, contact Ritz & Johnson Fashion Eyecare Center at 352-732-7900. Our eye doctor near Ocala will be happy to give you a thorough eye examination.