What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition most commonly caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve. It is currently the leading cause blindness for those over 60 years of age but is not limited to age alone. This type of vision loss cannot be recovered and therefore early identification and regular eye exams are important in prevention and treatment of this disease. If left untreated, Glaucoma will eventually cause blindness.

What are the signs and symptoms of Glaucoma?
• Severe headaches
• Eye pain
• Nausea and vomiting
• Blurred vision
• Halos or colored rings around lights
• Redness in eyes
• Sudden visual disturbances

What are the common risk factors for Glaucoma?
• Persons over 60 years of age
• Chronic eye inflammation
• Persons of African-America, Asian and Japanese ethnicity
• Family history of Glaucoma
• Diabetes
• High Blood Pressure
• Taking corticosteroids for an extended amount of time (especially eyedrops)

How can I prevent Glaucoma?
• Get regular eye exams. Depending on your age, there are recommendations for how frequent to get exams. For those 65 years and older, it is recommended to get an exam once every year, or more frequently if you are of a higher risk of getting glaucoma
• Know your family history of Glaucoma and report this to your Ophthalmologist during your eye exam if you have not already
• Take prescribed eye medications as ordered
• Wear eye protection when necessary

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Annabelle Vita

My name is Annabelle Vita and I am a Director of Nursing for Home Health. I have been in the home care industry for over 10 years primarily working with patients 65+. This experience has given me the opportunity to interact with patients one on one in the comfort of their own homes. Through this experience, I have been fortunate enough to hear life stories and share in the heartache, struggles, triumphs and joys of those who I care for.

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