How Long Does it Take to Go Blind with Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is defined as a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve usually due to excessively high intraocular pressure (IOP). If untreated, this increased pressure within the eye can lead to optic nerve damage resulting in progressive, permanent vision loss, starting with unnoticeable blind spots at the edges of the field of vision, progressing to tunnel vision, and then to blindness.
Glaucoma is generally considered a slow-progressing disease of the eye. In the most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, damage to the retinal cells occurs quite slowly. Untreated glaucoma can progress to blindness within several years.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a less common form that can impair vision much more quickly.
Early diagnosis and treatment usually results in excellent success and saved vision. The treatment of glaucoma aims to slow progression and to prevent glaucoma from affecting your quality of life. Treatments may include medication, surgery or laser surgery. Eye drops or pills alone can usually control glaucoma, although they cannot cure it. Some drugs are designed to reduce pressure by slowing the flow of fluid into the eye, while others help to improve fluid drainage. Surgery to help fluid escape from the eye and laser surgery is now often used for the same purpose.
Between two to three million people in the United States have glaucoma, and around 120,000 of those are legally blind as a result. The risk of glaucoma increases dramatically with age, but it can strike any age group, even newborn infants and fetuses.
It is important to have your eyes checked annually to maintain optimal vision and eye health. Early diagnosis of glaucoma is crucial in halting the progression of the disease and preventing total vision loss. For more information or to schedule an eye examination with our doctors in Tucson, contact Eye Associates of Tucson at 520-888-6600 or website today.