Protecting Your Eyes from Glaucoma

Aug 04, 2023
Protecting Your Eyes from Glaucoma
Like a thief in the night, glaucoma sneaks in and robs your eyesight before you know there’s a problem. Get a jump on the destructive disease by following these straight-from-our-expert tips. 

Glaucoma develops behind the scenes, damaging your optic nerves long before you experience symptoms, so the only way to know it’s there is to undergo regular glaucoma screenings. 

Dr. Maher Fanous at North Florida Eye Centers is diligent about detecting and treating glaucoma before it robs you of your precious vision. Schedule your first glaucoma screening at age 60 (or 40 if you’re African American) so Dr. Fanous can establish a baseline for your eye health. If he finds glaucoma building up behind your eyes, we can stop the progression with treatment. 

Meanwhile, do your part to protect your eyes from glaucoma by learning the facts and taking necessary precautions. 

Glaucoma stats

The glaucoma statistics in the United States are sobering:

  • About 3 million people have glaucoma
  • Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness in America
  • Half of people with glaucoma don’t know they have it
  • People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma

Some people are at a higher risk for glaucoma than others, so it’s beneficial to know if any of these factors apply to you:

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Advanced age
  • Eye problems: cataracts, injuries, infections, tumors, optic nerve issues, blocked vessels
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes

The more you know about glaucoma, the better prepared you are to guard yourself against it.

How to protect your eyes from glaucoma

You can lower your risk of developing glaucoma by following Dr. Fanous’ guidelines. 

Learn to recognize the signs of glaucoma

While glaucoma can be symptomless initially, certain telltale signs alert you to its presence. 

For example, difficulty adjusting to dark rooms, loss of peripheral vision, or seeing halos around lights could possibly signify glaucoma. If you notice these symptoms, we urge you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fanous immediately.

Don’t fall for glaucoma myths

There’s a common misconception about glaucoma that it's only an elderly person's disease. While it's true that the risk increases with age, glaucoma can affect people of all ages. 

Another myth is that glaucoma only occurs due to high eye pressure. In reality, it can develop even in individuals with normal eye pressure.

Get screened for glaucoma regularly

Most people get their first glaucoma screening around age 60, but Dr. Fanous might recommend a different schedule if you’re in a high-risk group. 

For example, African Americans are more susceptible to glaucoma and should start screenings at age 40. 

Open-angle glaucoma — high eye pressure due to blockages — is hereditary, so if it runs in your family, you may need to get checked more frequently. 

Stay healthy

Since glaucoma can go hand in hand with high blood pressure, exercise regularly to keep your heart healthy and your eyes safe. Eating lots of green leafy veggies and richly colored fruits that contain essential minerals can also help protect your peepers. 

Protect your eyes

Glaucoma tends to develop in injured eyes, so wear protective eye gear when playing sports or using power tools. 

Block harmful ultraviolet rays by wearing polarized sunglasses. 

Don't hang upside down

Gravity boots, inversion tables, and downward dog yoga poses can do wonders for back pain, but they’re no good for your eyes. Hanging upside down increases the pressure behind your eyes and can lead to or exacerbate glaucoma.

Keep up your dental hygiene

Studies have linked gum disease with glaucoma, so you can protect your eyes by brushing and flossing regularly and seeing your dentist twice yearly. 

If Dr. Fanous detects the beginning stages of glaucoma, he treats it with eye drops or oral medication. Although these treatments are often sufficient, you may require laser surgery or traditional surgery to solve the problem.

Schedule a glaucoma screening at North Florida Eye Center in Gainesville or Chiefland, Florida to protect your eyes from glaucoma. Request an appointment online or call us.