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Frequently Asked Questions About Glaucoma and Eye Exams

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It is recommended that teenagers and adults have their eyes examined every one to two years. One of the reasons why an eye exam is so important is because it gives the optometrist or ophthalmologist the opportunity to examine your eyes for glaucoma. When you hear this, you may have many questions about this eye condition and eye exams. Here are a few of the questions you may have about glaucoma and eye exams. 

Who Can Be Affected by Glaucoma? 

One of the myths surrounding glaucoma is that it targets the elderly, but this is not true. Everyone can be affected by glaucoma. This eye disease does not discriminate based on your age, gender, or race. People are affected across the board. As such, it is important for an eye exam to be done at all ages to help screen for this condition. 

What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

In its earliest stages, glaucoma typically does not present with any symptoms. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms begin to develop, the disease has already been around for some time. Some of the symptoms that can occur in late-stage glaucoma include hazy or blurry vision, seeing rainbow circles as you look at bright lights, and experiencing headaches and eye aches when using your eye muscles for an extended period of time. 

Why Is Early Detection Important? 

Once the symptoms associated with glaucoma are present, there is no way to reverse them at this time. Surgery and medical interventions have all failed to reduce or correct the symptoms. While glaucoma cannot be treated, the spread of the disease can be slowed with medical intervention, which can help to put off these symptoms for as long as possible. Since glaucoma is symptomless in its early stages, seeing an eye doctor regularly helps to ensure the disease can be caught early on. 

How Is Glaucoma Managed? 

When glaucoma is caught early enough, the most common treatment offered is eye drops. Prescription drops can be placed in the eye to help lower the pressure in the eye and reduce symptoms. The other treatment option is to have laser eye surgery done. A tube can be placed in the eye so fluid can flow away from the eye, relieving pressure. Your eye doctor can help determine which is the better choice for you based on your age, health, and what stage the disease is at. 

If it has been a couple of years since your last eye exam, now is the perfect time to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. Your doctor can conduct tests to ensure you are able to see correctly and screen your eyes for detection of glaucoma. Visit an optometrist like Cripe Stephens & Stickel to schedule your eye exam.