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Can Glaucoma be Prevented?

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Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve, typically caused by an increase in fluid that increases pressure on the eye. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 3 million people affected by the disease in the U.S. today, and that number is expected to reach 4.2 million by 2030. This makes glaucoma the second-leading cause of vision loss and blindness. While it may be difficult to prevent glaucoma, getting regular, comprehensive eye exams and consulting with your eye doctor if you notice any changes in your vision can help identify the early warning signs of the eye condition. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, some things you can do to prevent vision loss from glaucoma include:

  • A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a nutritious diet.
  • Protect your eyes from injury by wearing protective eyewear.
  • Protect your eyes from sunlight.
  • Talk to your eye doctor if you are taking steroid or blood pressure medication, as these medications may worsen glaucoma.

Treatment for Better Vision

Since glaucoma is most often symptomless, you may not detect subtle changes in your vision over time. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is the best way to detect the disease. Your eye doctor will test the pressure of your eyes and take a close look at your optic nerves for any abnormalities or changes. He or she will prescribe medications to reduce the excessive fluid in your eyes or perform surgery to clear the trabecular meshwork if necessary. Having a comprehensive dilated eye exam annually is the best preventive measure, especially if you’re over the age of 60. If you have diabetes, chronic migraines, or a family history of glaucoma, then you may be at an increased risk for glaucoma.

Schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam if you’re concerned you might be at risk for glaucoma.