Glaucoma

Who Needs A Glaucoma Screening?

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, a time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease.  Glaucoma is called “the sneaky thief of sight” because as much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.  Over three million Americans have glaucoma and combined with our aging population, an epidemic of blindness is looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of getting glaucoma screenings.

Who needs a glaucoma screening and when should they start?

Those at a highest risk of glaucoma include African American and Latino populations.  African Americans are over six times more likely to have glaucoma than Caucasians. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. Other increased risk factors are those with an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with glaucoma and anyone over the age of 60. Also, if you are severely nearsighted, you fall into the high-risk category.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following schedule for glaucoma screening eye exams:

             Age 20 to 29

  • Individuals of African American descent screening every three to five years

  • Individuals with a family history of glaucoma every three to five years

  • Individuals with diabetes at least once a year

  • Others should have screening at least once during this period

             Age 30 to 39

  • Individuals of African American descent screening every two to four years

  • Individuals with a family history of glaucoma every two to four years

  • Individuals with diabetes at least once a year

  • Others should have screening at least twice during this period   

    Age 40 to 60

  • Individuals with diabetes at least once a year

  • Others should have screening every two to four years

         Age 60 or older

  • Everyone needs to be screened every one to two years

Learn more about glaucoma here. During National Glaucoma Awareness Month, we are excited to announce FREE glaucoma screenings at all four of our locations. Call us to sign up for your FREE glaucoma screening during the month of January.

Bryant – All of January  (501) 653-2010

Pine Bluff – January 23 (870) 536-4100

Little Rock – All of January (501) 830-2020

Hot Springs – January 31 (501) 318-1111

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5 Things You Need to Know about Glaucoma

Although it affects over 25,000 Arkansans, patients often walk into our clinics who don’t know their vision is being compromised by glaucoma. January is Glaucoma Awareness month, so here are the five things you need to know about glaucoma.

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#1) What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions where optic nerve damage often occurs when the fluid pressure inside the eye increases. It is the second leading cause of blindness, but it is THE leading cause of blindness that CAN be prevented.

#2) What are the risk factors of glaucoma? African, Hispanic or Asian heritages have the highest chance of developing glaucoma. People with diabetes, a family history of glaucoma or are severely nearsighted are also considered high risk. The risk for developing glaucoma increases with age, so if you over the age 60 you should be mindful to have regular eye doctor visits with glaucoma screenings.

#3) What are the common symptoms of glaucoma? There are usually no early warning signs or noticeable symptoms. In fact, most do not recognize any symptoms from the disease until they begin to experience severe vision problems. Other patients complain of severe pain in the eye or start to notice blurred or narrowed field of vision.

#4) What are treatments for glaucoma? The most common treatment for glaucoma is eye drops. These topical medications work by decreasing the eye pressure if used appropriately. For individuals who do not tolerate or respond to eye drops, laser procedure can be performed which improve the fluid outflow from the eye.

#5) How is glaucoma diagnosed? The only way to diagnose glaucoma is a complete eye exam with dilation. To dilate the eye, drops are placed in each eye to widen the pupil and allow better viewing of the inside of the eye. After the doctors test your vision, they will measure your eye pressure, perform a Visual Field test and examine your optic nerve for signs of glaucoma.

Glaucoma damage is permanent – so PREVENTION is KEY! Early detection and treatment is vitally important to prevent vision issues.

During National Glaucoma Awareness Month, we are excited to announce FREE glaucoma screenings at all four of our locations. Call us to sign up for your FREE glaucoma screening during the month of January.

Bryant – All of January  (501) 653-2010

Pine Bluff – January 23 (870) 536-4100

Little Rock – All of January (501) 830-2020

Hot Springs – January 31 (501) 318-1111

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Who Is At High Risk for Glaucoma?

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The eye disease glaucoma is aptly described as the “Silent Thief of Sight.” Since the symptoms of glaucoma are often invisible until it is too late and irreversible once they occur, knowing if you are at a high risk for it can help you prevent any potential vision loss. The best step you can take for your eye health is to have your eyes routinely checked by your eye care professional. Between check ups, here are some things to look (wink wink) for.

Signs of damage

You may not notice the signs of glaucoma at first because it typically develops slowly over time. Before you know it, your range of vision has decreased. However, sometimes it can come on quickly. But, in both cases, there are no early onset warning signs.

If your vision has become increasingly hazy, if you are seeing halos around lights or are losing your peripheral vision, you should see your eye doctor as soon as possible. These signs are not often noticed by an individual until the disease has progressed. Other signs like elevated intraocular pressure, abnormalities with optic nerves, as well as other various symptoms, are only able to be identified by your eye doctor, which is why it’s important to have a routine checkup.

Once the damage is done, there is no correcting your vision. This is yet another reason why it is imperative to have your eyes checked. Catching a glaucoma sooner rather than later can ensure better treatment options. Spotting glaucoma and preventing it is key to maintaining your vision.

Since there are no warning signs, being proactive and watchful (no pun intended) can be helpful in managing and preventing any future damage that may occur if left unchecked. Additionally, knowing if you are at a predisposed high risk for glaucoma can help you to be more aware of this disease and the chances of it happening to you.

So, who is at a high risk for glaucoma?

  • African Americans - females have the highest chance of developing a glaucoma.

  • Hispanics and Latinos

  • Those over the age of 50

  • Steroid users

  • Those with a family history of glaucoma

  • Those with diabetes

  • Those who have had eye injuries

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, but if you fall into this list, know that your chances of developing glaucoma are higher and be mindful to have regular visits with your eye doctor.

Remember, there are no symptoms of glaucoma at first, the disease will continue to get worse unless treated. Once you lose vision to glaucoma, it cannot be regained, which is why you should have regular eye exams.

Sign up for one of our FREE glaucoma screenings during the month of February at any of our locations.

Bryant - January 15-February 12

Pine Bluff - February 2

Little Rock - February 7

Hot Springs - February 12

 

FREE Glaucoma Screenings at McFarlands!

Glaucoma - Free Screenings - McFarland Eye Care

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month so we are offering FREE GLAUCOMA SCREENINGS in all four mcfarland clinics! Schedule your appointment today!


 
 
 
 

Email us to set up your FREE Glaucoma Screening!

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January Is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma - McFarland Eye Care

Glaucoma, which affects more than three million Americans and over 25,000 Arkansans, is the second leading cause of blindness in this country and is the leading cause of preventable blindness.

"There are no early warning signs. Once vision problems begin, the damage is irreversible,” says Dr. Evan Newbolt. “Glaucoma is not curable, but it can be managed if caught in time: that’s why early detection is critical.”

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, leading to progressive loss of vision. It is often referred to as the “sneak thief of sight” because the progression is gradual, and many people do not realize they have Glaucoma until serious symptoms appear.

Glaucoma is often – but not always – a result of increased pressure within the eye. People of African and Asian descent have an elevated risk for Glaucoma, as well as those with a family history of the disease.  While the elderly are at increased risk, nobody – regardless of age – is immune from Glaucoma.

Testing for Glaucoma requires an eye examination that includes an intraocular pressure check, a quick and painless test that monitors the eyes pressure. The Glaucoma Research Foundation recommends the following schedule to be checked for Glaucoma:

  •  before age 40, every two to four years
  •  from age 40 to age  54, every one to three years
  • from age 55 to 64, every one to two years
  • after age 65, every six to 12 months
  • anyone with high risk factors should be tested every year or two after age 35

“We have patients who walk in every day who don’t know their vision is steadily being compromised by glaucoma,” says Dr. James Hoffmann.  “We hope that during Glaucoma Awareness Month people will be reminded to see their eye doctor so we can diagnose and treat glaucoma before it becomes a serious health and lifestyle issue.”