Glaucoma is an incurable eye disease that is a leading cause of blindness. It’s estimated that 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed, but another 1.5 million or so have it and don’t realize it. Your mom and dad could have glaucoma and not know it. The only way to know for sure is through a comprehensive eye exam with eye dilation.
While a dilated eye exam is the best way to catch glaucoma early, a survey found that fewer than half of all adults in the U.S. had had that type of exam. It’s important for your parents to go to the eye doctor and ask for a dilated eye exam.
What is glaucoma? How do you lower your risk of developing this disease? It can be hard to reduce your risk. It’s more common after the age of 60. There’s a higher chance of developing glaucoma if there is a family history of it. It’s also more common in people with chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
Glaucoma isn’t just one eye disease or condition, there are different types of glaucoma and all affect the optic nerve. The optic nerve is needed for optimal vision, but some people develop improper pressure within the eye that damages this nerve and leads to vision loss.
There are five main forms of glaucoma:
- Acute angle-closure is one of them. It happens when the iris starts to bulge and blocks the drainage from the cornea and iris. This increases the pressure within the eye.
- Childhood glaucoma occurs in children and is usually diagnosed between birth and the toddler years.
- Normal-tension glaucoma happens when the optic nerve is damaged despite having a normal eye pressure. It’s believed that plaque deposits may be to blame, or you could have a lower blood supply within the optic nerve.
- Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. While the drainage between the cornea and iris is open, tissue within that drain becomes blocked and causes the eye pressure to increase.
- Pigmentary glaucoma is often linked to people who exercise heavily, especially joggers. It’s caused by the pigment granules within the iris creating blockages within the drains.
If your parents have glaucoma and are losing some of their vision, it’s important that they don’t drive. Hire caregivers to drive them to medical offices, area businesses, and stores. With caregivers helping out, your parents may not have the same level of vision they had, but it doesn’t have to keep them from aging at home. Call a home care agency to arrange caregiver services.
If you or an aging loved one are considering a Caregiver in Springfield, PA please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care today.