Glaucoma is a condition that occurs when increased pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve and causes progressive permanent vision loss. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss but unfortunately, it is widely misunderstood by most people. Many people don’t understand the seriousness of glaucoma or understand the importance of regular visions checks.
Knowledge can be one of the best ways to protect your eyes from glaucoma and other related eye diseases. Listed below are four of the most common myths surrounding glaucoma:
- Myth #1: Glaucoma only affects the elderly.
It is true that glaucoma is usually found in adults over the age of 60 but it can affect people of all ages. One in 10,000 babies is born with glaucoma every year and young adults can be affected by glaucoma as well. Common risk factors for glaucoma include family history, diabetes, and hypertension.
- Myth #2: Glaucoma is curable.
Glaucoma is treatable but at this point, there is no cure. Treatments include eye drops, oral pills, and surgery.
- Myth #3: Glaucoma has symptoms and can be detected before major vision damage occurs.
What makes glaucoma so dangerous is that it causes painless vision loss and because the most common forms are symptom-free, it can go undetected for a long time. And once you lose your vision to glaucoma, it cannot be recovered.
- Myth #4: Glaucoma is solely an inherited disease.
While it is true that certain forms of glaucoma are inherited and a family history is a big risk factor, many people with no family history of glaucoma are diagnosed with this disease. And often, patients are not aware of a family history because their family members have not been appropriately examined.
Glaucoma is one of the biggest causes of blindness in the Western world and it can affect individuals of every age. Because it often causes painless, symptom-free vision loss it often goes undetected for many years. Early detection and treatment are essential to helping preserve vision and a complete eye exam is the only way to check for glaucoma. For more information about how you can protect your eyes, schedule your screening with Katzen Eye at one of our Lutherville, Baltimore, or Rosedale locations today.