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Why You Should Never Ignore the Symptoms of Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to a collection of eye diseases that cause pressure to build up in your eye. The extra pressure damages your optic nerve and can cause irreversible vision changes or blindness. Of the estimated 3,000,000 people in the United States who have glaucoma, more than half don’t realize it.

At Paragon Eye Associates in Mansfield and Arlington, Texas, our dedicated team of doctors recommends a yearly exam, including a glaucoma test, so that your disease is caught early enough to prevent serious vision changes or blindness. They also encourage you to pay attention to your eyes and come for an evaluation any time you notice troubling symptoms.

Anyone can get glaucoma

You’re more likely to develop glaucoma if you’re more than 40 years old,  but anyone can have it. The Glaucoma Research Foundation estimates that one in 10,000 babies born in the US is born with a form of disease called congenital glaucoma. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, glaucoma is the cause of impaired vision in:

Glaucoma is the cause of legal blindness in: 

Unfortunately, the most common type of glaucoma rarely has symptoms. That’s why an annual exam is essential to catching the disease in its earliest stages. Between exams, pay careful attention to changes in your vision and to the health of your eyes, including:

1. Changes in your “side” vision

The most common type of glaucoma, known as open-angle glaucoma, doesn’t have any symptoms until you’ve suffered significant vision loss. Most people with open-angle glaucoma lose vision at the side of their eyes, which is called peripheral vision. However, the changes happen so gradually you might not notice them at all.

2. Intense pain or trouble seeing

The most painful type of glaucoma is called acute-closed or narrow-angle glaucoma. If you have this type of glaucoma, you might experience sudden, disturbing symptoms, such as:

Acute-closed angle glaucoma can cause blindness within 6-12 hours if you don’t get to the doctor for treatment. If you experience any symptoms of acute-closed angle glaucoma, go straight to the emergency room. 

3. Eye-related changes and behaviors in children

Congenital glaucoma develops in the first few years after birth. Contact our friendly, helpful team, if you notice your baby or child is:

Also contact the eye doctor if their cornea looks cloudy.

Secondary causes of glaucoma

While most cases of primary glaucoma have no clear cause, some conditions and medications cause glaucoma as a secondary effect. Two common causes of secondary glaucoma are eye trauma and steroid use. While you may associate steroids with bodybuilding, they’re an anti-inflammatory agent that’s included in many different medications, such as those used to treat:

When you come for an eye examination or glaucoma evaluation at Paragon Eye Associates, our team take a full medical history, including medications you’re on, and any other eye conditions you’ve had in the past or currently have.

Prevention starts today

Although prevention is the best cure for any disease, it’s even more important in glaucoma to avoid irreversible vision loss. Come to Paragon Eye Associates every year for a full eye exam and glaucoma evaluation so that any changes in your eye pressure are caught as early as possible. If you have glaucoma, your doctors many recommend FDA-cleared treatments to reduce pressure on your affected eye, such as: 

To set up a glaucoma evaluation and eye exam, contact us at Paragon Eye Associates by phone or use our online message form. 

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