Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in Canada. Glaucoma is a group of diseases which cause degeneration to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the power cord which connects the eye to the brain. Glaucoma affects about 2% of the population and is expected to affect much more people by 2030.
There is no cure for glaucoma - yet. If we diagnose someone with glaucoma, eye drops and/or surgery is often prescribed to lower the eye pressure and prevent vision loss. Glaucoma causes gradual loss in side (peripheral) vision and is not noticed until close to 40% of our side vision is affected. Early detection is very important to stop the progression of the disease. Annual eye exams allow us to monitor and detect changes in your eye health in relation to glaucoma.
EVERYONE is at risk for glaucoma since glaucoma can happen with NO signs or symptoms.
Some people are at higher risk for glaucoma: people over 60 years old, steroid users (oral or inhaler use), history of trauma to the eye, high myopia, hypertension and people with immediate family members with glaucoma.
If an immediate family member has glaucoma you are FOUR TO NINE TIMES more likely to get glaucoma. January being Glaucoma awareness month now is the perfect time to talk about glaucoma and ask your family members about it. At Tofield Eyecare we have all the necessary machines (visual field, optical coherence tomography) to test for glaucoma. If you have any questions about glaucoma stop by or call our office anytime!