If you're in your 40s, you might worry about many things, including your weight and heart. But if you're not concerned about your vision, it's time to do so. As you enter middle age, your vision can gradually change. One of the vision problems men should think about is glaucoma. Learn how glaucoma affects your eyesight and why it's important to be screened for it at an office like Olympia Eye Clinic, Inc., P.S.
Are You at Risk for Glaucoma?
Although women are more likely to experience glaucoma, men in their 40s can also develop the eye disease. However, a great number of men may not visit the eye doctor as often as they need to, which could place them at a greater risk for glaucoma and several other eye conditions.
Glaucoma develops when too much pressure builds up on your optic nerve, which prevents the nerve from relaying messages to your brain. Glaucoma is a gradual disease, so you might not feel any changes in your vision until it progresses. In many cases, untreated glaucoma can lead to a full loss of vision.
You may be at risk for glaucoma if you have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Men who suffer from high blood sugar may also be at risk for the disease. Some studies link erectile dysfunction with glaucoma. Although studies are ongoing, it's important to be aware of the possible link between erectile dysfunction and increased eye pressure. All of the conditions may potentially increase pressure in the body's blood vessels and nerves, including the tissues that support the optic nerve.
It's important to have your eyes screened for increased eye pressure.
What Can You Detect Signs of Glaucoma?
Many eye doctors screen patients for elevated eye pressure during routine and comprehensive eye exams. The screening may look for changes in the optic nerve's shape, color, and thickness. Eye pressure can also affect the other tissues of the eye that drain or transport fluid from the eyes, including the cornea, iris, and lens.
Changes in the optic nerve can also affect your field of vision. For example, things might appear distorted or discolored over time. If you have previous issues with seeing things, be sure to tell an eye doctor during the exam. After the screening, an optical expert can provide the appropriate treatment, which may include eye drops and other medications.
To learn more about glaucoma and the screenings used to detect it, contact an eye doctor for an exam today.