Glaucoma damages the optic nerve and left untreated, can cause permanent blindness. When high intraocular pressure is present, it can signal glaucoma. Because pressure in the eye may not feel like an immediate medical emergency, many people wait to see their optometrist. Not seeking treatment can be damaging. But, it’s hard to seek treatment for a condition you don’t know you have. That’s why it is critical to see your optometrist at least once a year throughout your life. When you’re 40 years old or older, that becomes even more important.
Getting tested regularly for glaucoma can be the difference between minor vision impairment and complete vision loss. Glaucoma testing becomes more important as you age. Find out why below.
No Early Warning
There are many people who have glaucoma and don’t know it. That’s because glaucoma gives no early warning and rarely displays any early symptoms. That quirk is dangerous, because it lulls people into a false sense of security. When you are 40 years old or older, it is critical that you get glaucoma testing frequently to make sure that you don’t need to begin treatment. Without early symptoms, it can be difficult to catch glaucoma. That’s why you need the help of a licensed optometrist.
No Obvious Pain
Pain is mostly bad. However, it can be helpful. Pain is what alerts people that there is a problem. Without it, no one would know when they were supposed to go to the doctor’s office. Glaucoma doesn’t cause pain early on and that robs people of the much-needed alarm that spurs them to take action. Even if pain isn’t present, it’s critical to get tested for glaucoma often as you age. Just because there is no pain, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a reason to see your optometrist.
Family history can be an indicator of glaucoma. If your family has a history of the disease, it is important to inform your optometrist and get checked regularly. While the signs and symptoms of glaucoma often appear out of nowhere, knowing your family history and keeping it in mind can be helpful in battling back against eye disease. Because glaucoma primarily affects older populations, it is important to get checked more frequently as you age.
Diabetes and More
If you currently have diabetes or another serious health problem, glaucoma could be linked. Because of this, it is important to see your optometrist even more often so that they can monitor your eye pressure and help preserve your vision. Vision care needs to be a regular part of your health care regimen throughout life and when you’re older, it needs to become an even higher priority.
Don’t let glaucoma go unchecked. As you age, make sure that you’re frequently tested for glaucoma. Keep the above points in mind and remember that glaucoma doesn’t make itself apparent. You need to be proactive in getting tested and getting treatment.