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How to Prevent Glaucoma: Tips to Reduce Your Risk

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A senior man undergoing an eye exam to detect early signs of eye conditions caused by aging.

What steps are you taking to protect your eyes and avoid vision loss from glaucoma? This eye disease is one of the leading causes of blindness, particularly among older adults. Getting an eye exam for early detection is critical, but there’s more you can do to reduce the potential effects of glaucoma.

You can reduce your risk of developing glaucoma and prevent vision loss by always getting regular eye exams, talking to your family members, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition in which your optic nerve is damaged over time, leading to vision loss. The key detail to know about this condition is that it can develop slowly and without warning signs, so you may not notice a problem until significant vision loss has occurred.

Further complicating matters, glaucoma is more common in older adults and is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 60. However, it doesn’t only affect older adults—it can also affect younger individuals.

Types of Glaucoma

There are different types of glaucoma, and with early detection and timely treatment, vision loss can be prevented or minimized. The most common types include:

  • Normal-tension glaucoma: This type of glaucoma can cause optic nerve damage without affecting your intraocular pressure (IOP) levels. Regular eye exams are important for those at risk of developing this kind of glaucoma because your eye doctor can look for other signs of glaucoma to help keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision loss.
  • Open-angle glaucoma: Open-angle glaucoma refers to a situation in which the fluid in your eye isn’t draining as it should, leading to elevated IOP levels.
  • Closed-angle glaucoma: When the drainage angle between your iris and pupil closes suddenly, it can cause a rapid increase in IOP, leading to closed-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma is considered a medical emergency.

Tips to Help Reduce Your Risk of Glaucoma

By taking the steps described below, you can help protect your eyes and avoid vision loss from glaucoma.

Get Regular Eye Exams

One of the most critical steps for preventing glaucoma is to get regular eye exams.

If you are in a high-risk group, you should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam to catch glaucoma early and start treatment. Even if you’re not in a high-risk group, a comprehensive eye exam by age 40 can help catch eye diseases early.

Talk to Your Family Members

Open-angle glaucoma does not have symptoms, but it is hereditary, so it’s important to talk to your family members about their vision health, particularly if you have a family history of glaucoma.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

To prevent vision loss from glaucoma, it’s important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits such as maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood pressure, engaging in physical activities, and avoiding smoking.

A senior woman in her workout clothes practicing a yoga pose in a brightly lit room.

Schedule an Appointment at Total Vision Rancho Bernardo to Protect Your Eyes from Glaucoma

Regular eye exams should be a priority if you’re serious about protecting your eyes and avoiding vision loss from glaucoma. Moreover, strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle, talk to your family about glaucoma, and stay educated on the disease so that you can better understand the risks.

Discussing glaucoma with a trusted optometrist is so important. At Total Vision Rancho Bernardo, we are here to answer your questions and discuss all your options for preventative measures. 

Book an appointment to speak with our experienced optometrists.

Written by Total Vision

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