Glaucoma refers to a family of diseases that damage the optic nerve and is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. It is a progressive disease that most frequently occurs in individuals over the age of 40, with the risk of the disease increasing with age. There is also a greater risk of developing glaucoma for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, a history of eye injuries or a family history of glaucoma. Your risk of developing glaucoma increases with each decade after age 40 – from around 1% in your 40’s to up to 12% in your 80’s.
Open angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, there are usually no symptoms until the individual suffers enough optic nerve damage to experience peripheral vision loss, which is why glaucoma is referred to as “the silent thief.”
Closed angle glaucoma is a more rare condition where there is a sudden rise in the pressure within the eye, always requiring immediate medical attention, and the individual may experience pain, blurred vision and see halos around lights.
If left untreated, both forms can lead to peripheral vision loss at first, followed by central vision loss and blindness during late stages of the disease.
Detection and Prevention
Our Doctors will perform simple and painless procedures during your routine eye exam, which measure the internal pressure of your eyes as well as look into your eyes to observe the health of the optic nerve and determine if there is a need for additional imaging.
Eye drops and laser surgery are usually effective therapies aimed at reducing ocular pressure and vision loss. If these traditional methods fail to achieve their desired affects, surgical intervention is usually necessary to lower the pressure and lower the risk of nerve damage and vision loss