There is a misconception that glaucoma is untreatable and will inevitably cause blindness. But, Dr. Andrea Zimmerman, a low vision specialist at Lighthouse Guild says, “There are new medications and procedures to treat glaucoma. In addition, there are promising studies underway. One of these involves developing an implant that could be inserted surgically to dispense medication,” she says. This is good news for those who have been diagnosed and those who are at risk.
She points out that getting regular eye exams is the first step in protecting your eyes from glaucoma and other eye disorders that can lead to vision loss. A comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect glaucoma in its early stages allowing you to get treatments that can prevent loss of vision.
“Early intervention is the key to preventing vision loss,” Dr. Zimmerman says. “Regular eye exams should start by age 3. Although it is rare, even children can have glaucoma.”
Many people experience difficulty with vision as they get older. Problems with reading, driving at night, glare, peripheral vision, and walking due to the inability to see curbs and steps, can be common.
“It’s important not to ignore these problems,” says Dr. Zimmerman. “You need to get them checked out. Only an eye care professional can determine if these symptoms are related to glaucoma or other eye conditions and begin treatments that can help safeguard your vision.”
For those who do have vision loss from glaucoma, studies have found that vision rehabilitation can improve quality of life and the ability to perform daily tasks.
Dr. Zimmerman says, “At Lighthouse Guild, we provide vision rehabilitation and other services to help people who have vision loss due to glaucoma, or other causes, lead full and productive lives.”
About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. For more information, visit Lighthouseguild.org.