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Why Is Glaucoma More Prevalent in Older Adults?

Prevalence of glaucoma in older Newark adults.
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Glaucoma is a severe eye condition that is especially prevalent among older adults, and a leading cause of vision loss in the United States. Getting regular glaucoma testing and treatment is crucial in combating this progressive disease that damages the optic nerve. But why does glaucoma tend to be more common in Newark’s older generation?

Top Reasons Glaucoma Is More Common in Older Adults

According to Health In Aging, about 5% of people aged 65 or older develop glaucoma, and this rate increases to 10% for those 80 and over. There are several reasons for this increase with age.

Less Efficient Drainage in the Eye

The optic nerve is essential for transmitting visual information from the eye to the brain. Unfortunately, the eye’s drainage system often becomes less effective as we get older, resulting in an accumulation of fluid. This buildup can cause a steady increase in eye pressure that may harm the optic nerve. Optic nerve damage can lead to problems with peripheral vision, even possible vision loss.

Lens Enlargement

Lens-induced glaucoma occurs as the lens in our eye gets thicker and bigger with age, changing the eye’s internal structure. This process can disrupt the flow of fluid in the eye, leading to increased pressure. High pressure inside the eye is a primary cause of glaucoma, and can lead to vision becoming progressively worse.

Higher Risk of Eye Conditions

Older adults are more likely to have medical conditions that can increase the risk factors for glaucoma. People with diabetes and high blood pressure should be aware and have regular vision checks in response. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent vision loss from glaucoma with early intervention.

Reduced Blood Flow to the Optic Nerve

Age-related changes in the eye’s blood vessels can decrease blood flow to the optic nerve. Diminished circulation can adversely affect the health and functioning of the nerve. Over time, this reduced blood supply can contribute to the development of glaucoma by making the optic nerve more susceptible to damage.

How Glaucoma in Older Adults Is Treated

While there is no single cure for glaucoma, there are many treatments that minimize its impact on a person’s life. When this eye disease is diagnosed, your eye doctor may prescribe simple options like eye drops and oral medication. For more advanced cases, surgery and laser treatment can improve fluid drainage from the eye. Get regular checkups with your eye doctor to monitor eye health.

If you have glaucoma and are considering cataract surgery, there are glaucoma procedures during cataract surgery that may provide better glaucoma control.

Professional Glaucoma Testing and Treatment in Newark

Eye Care of Delaware is a leading provider of glaucoma testing and treatment for older adults. If you are experiencing blurred vision and other glaucoma symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact our Newark office. Call (302) 454-8800 or request an appointment today.

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