Tips for Seniors to Maintain Healthy Eyes in Honor of Glaucoma Awareness Month
January marks Glaucoma Awareness Month, a time dedicated to helping people understand more about the disease, who it impacts and how to prevent it. Fellowship Square shares tips for seniors on how to maintain eye health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, glaucoma is a “group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision.” The damage is a result of extremely high pressure in the eye that is beyond normal range. It’s important that seniors understand the risks of glaucoma — because although it can occur at any age, it is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 60. Vision loss as a result of glaucoma cannot be recovered and once diagnosed will require ongoing treatment for perpetuity. However, the Mayo Clinic states that if detected early enough, “vision loss can be slowed or prevented” — so routine eye exams are essential.
It’s also important for seniors to know that at the onset glaucoma doesn’t typically have symptoms such as pain that might encourage one to go get a check up. However, in various stages of the disease, and specific variations of it, symptoms are as follows:
In the case of open-angle glaucoma, which is one of the most common forms of the illness, one might notice patchy blind spots in the peripheral or central vision and typically in both eyes. In the advanced stages of this type of glaucoma, tunnel vision is a common symptom.
When it comes to acute angle-closure glaucoma, there are many “red flags,” such as severe headaches, eye pain, nausea and/or vomiting, blurred visions, “halos” around lights and eye redness.
Early detection is key so routine eye appointments are crucial. Seniors that experience any symptoms mentioned, or other abnormal feelings in their eyes/head should pay close attention and make an appointment right away with their eye care provider. For those that experience the severe headaches, eye pain or blurred visions side effects of acute angle-closure glaucoma, the Mayo Clinic advises going to the emergency room.