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Glaucoma FAQs

Glaucoma FAQs

Who can develop Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a very common disease, especially among Latino people 45 years of age or older. It is generally associated with those who have a family history of Glaucoma or those who lost their vision at an earlier age. However, it can occur even if no one in the family ever had Glaucoma. People who have strong eye prescriptions for Myopia or Hyperopia also have a higher risk of developing this disease. There are patients who have to be checked from childhood on because they could develop it, though those are rare cases.

Who else can develop this disease?
There are cases in which a Secondary Glaucoma (pressure increase) develops in young people with allergies or who use uncontrolled steroid drop medications. It is not dangerous to use some steroid medications as long as they are monitored, and the intraocular pressure is regulated by an Ophthalmologist. Without such monitoring and regulation, the risk of Secondary Glaucoma increases.

If there is no family history, who should make sure they receive Glaucoma exams?
Everyone should get their eyes checked once per year. However, If you have very strong eye prescriptions, you are at greater risk for Glaucoma and need to have regular medical checkups.

What does this disease entail?
Glaucoma is a disease that occurs in the interior part of the eye, specifically affecting the optical nerve. It causes damage over time as the optical nerve thins due, in most cases, to an increase in eye pressure.

Does blood pressure affect my vision?
Not necessarily. It is very important to note that when we talk about eye pressure, it is completely independent of blood pressure in the body. A lot of people have hypertension, and in many cases, there is no correlation between it and Glaucoma. 

How do I know if I have Glaucoma? Are there any symptoms?
No, most people don’t have any symptoms. In order to find out, patients need to come to CODET Vision Institute for a routine visit and have their eyes checked using our unique, technological devices. This allows us to obtain a complete eye analysis, performed exclusively by a professional Ophthalmologist, that encompasses everything from intraocular pressure to pupil dilation to physically looking inside the eye with a special lens.

What is happening inside my eye when I have this disease?
The interior part of the eye is formed by intraocular liquid to nurture everything: the center, the anterior part, and the posterior, which have, in turn, their own different liquids. These liquids are constantly being refreshed and renewed by the body; any liquid that is not absorbed must be drained. Our eyes have built-in drains that constantly work to do this. In people with Glaucoma, the drainage zone located in the anterior part of the eye (similar to a ring) loses its permeability or function, which causes the liquid to be retained and/or drain slowly. This causes an increase in pressure that builds very slowly over the years, which is why it doesn’t cause any noticeable discomfort.

Can I lose my vision if I have this disease?
The most sensitive zone of the eye is the optical nerve, and it thins due to this disease. Glaucoma produces a cellular death that causes a progressive loss of vision, starting with the peripheral vision. By the time the problem becomes noticeable, people are already tripping over things, bumping into objects, or are unable to see what is next to them. At this point, the disease is, unfortunately, at a very advanced stage.

Is there any way to know if I have Glaucoma without a visit?
No, there is no way to know if you have Glaucoma unless you have an examination done by an Ophthalmologist. Unfortunately, if this disease is detected at a very advanced stage (when there is already cellular death in the optical nerve), there is no way to recover vision. However, if it is detected in time, there are a lot of very effective treatments that are focused specifically on lowering eye pressure. They include medications or surgical procedures like the ones we perform here at CODET Vision Institute.

What is the main cause of blindness in the world?
Glaucoma is one of the main causes of blindness in the world, and it is, in fact, the main cause of irreversible blindness.

What is the treatment for Glaucoma?
Treatment and diagnosis is not the only benefit of a professional examination, we are also able to obtain the eye pressure, and several measurements of the eye. When there are Glaucoma risk factors, periodic follow-ups are performed to track changes in the eye and recommend treatment options before the disease progresses. Treatments are based on the cause and type of Glaucoma and may include laser procedures, surgery, or drainage devices.

How often should I get a checkup, or at what age should I start getting one to watch for this disease?
People younger than 40 years old should get a checkup every 2 years. If you are older than 45 years of age, you should get a checkup every year. The visit is important to check the state of the optical nerve, the anterior chamber, the eye prescription, and the intraocular pressure.

What does the Glaucoma specialist recommend to avoid the risks associated with this disease?
The best way to reduce risk is to prioritize the care of your visual health: scheduling annual checkups is the best way to ensure that your vision stays healthy for a very long time.

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