Glaucoma is a common condition of the eye. It is caused by damage to the ocular nerve, which is located in the back of the eyeball. Although there can be several causes, increased fluid pressure within the eye is the most common.
It can strike people of any age, so it’s important to know about this critical vision problem.
Glaucoma: A Vision Threat To All Ages
Because it is associated with “old age” conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, there’s a common misconception that glaucoma only affects the elderly. Unfortunately, this is not true.
While glaucoma is more likely to affect older people, it can happen at any age. In fact, roughly 1 in 10,000 babies are born with it congenitally.
Glaucoma is also one of the most common forms of blindness, and it’s largely treatable. The problem is that without regular eye checkups, it can go undetected for years. By the time a person’s glaucoma gets bad enough to begin causing noticeable vision problems, their vision is permanently damaged.
Caught early on, glaucoma can be treated with medication at a near-perfect success rate. However, according to research, half of people with glaucoma don’t know it.
This is just one of the reasons that getting a vision screening for your children is so important, even at a young age. Eye disorders can usually be detected at 12-18 months, and corrected before they cause permanent problems.
Additionally, there may be a higher risk of glaucoma in:
- Those with a family history of the disease
- Children with diabetes
- Severely nearsighted children
- African Americans (who are 8-10 times more likely to be affected)
Anyone in these groups will be at elevated risk of glaucoma throughout their lives.
Glaucoma Is Preventable With Regular Eye Checkups
It is truly important to remember that in many cases glaucoma shows no symptoms for years, or even decades. It is crucial to catch it before enough damage is done to the optic nerve that it harms vision. Only regular eye exams can ensure it’s caught early enough to treat.
Remember to have your child’s vision checked at least once a year. It’s quick, easy, painless and can help them avoid a lifetime of vision problems. Make your appointment with your Phoenix Optometrist today!