Did you know that women are more likely than men to have glaucoma? They also are more likely to become visually impaired or blind due to glaucoma. And, statistics show that women are 24 percent less likely to be treated for the disease, which could be due to the fact that it often presents no symptoms until vision loss begins.
Glaucoma is a chronic condition caused when fluids don’t drain properly from the eye causing a buildup of pressure that ultimately leads to damage of the optic nerve. There are multiple forms of glaucoma, but open-angle glaucoma is most typically associated with aging and develops gradually with little or no symptoms.
So, what’s a girl to do? Well, as a first step, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s guidelines suggest that it’s a very good idea to see an ophthalmologist for regular eye exams beginning at age 40. Visiting an eye doctor before problems arise allows the physician to get a baseline reading of your eye health, so they will be able to flag any changes in your vision at an early stage and develop a treatment plan right away.
While there isn’t a cure for glaucoma, the good news is that if it’s caught early, treatments such as medication, surgery, and laser surgery are available to help slow down the disease and prevent further vision loss. Glaucoma can sometimes look like other eye conditions, so it’s important to see your doctor for the correct diagnosis.
This blog post is part of our Simply Women initiative that caters to the unique health care needs of women and their families.