Dr. Don Matsumoto – Glaucoma in the Baby Boomer Population – It is often called the “silent thief of sight.” We’re talking about glaucoma – a serious eye disease and the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the world. It affects 3 million Americans but only half know they have it. That’s because there aren’t any symptoms and the only way to know you have it is to have an eye exam. Dr. Don Matsumoto joins Mark for a look at eye care for those over the age of 50.
There are two types of glaucoma – open angle and acute angle-closure. Open-angle doesn’t have any symptoms until permanent vision loss has occurred. Symptoms in the late stages of the disease include gradual loss of peripheral vision, blank spots in your field of vision and tunnel vision.
Angle-closure glaucoma is rare and develops very quickly. Symptoms include eye pain, nausea and vomiting (accompanying the severe eye pain), blurred vision and headaches.
Regular eye exams are the key to detecting glaucoma and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a comprehensive eye exam for all adults starting at age 40.
One interesting fact is an increasing diagnosis among baby boomers and can largely be attributed to LASIK surgery. Baby boomers were the first ones to take advantage of refractive surgery procedures such as LASKIK. After LASIK, patients see great, so most only see their eye doctor if they are in pain or if their quality of vision declines. However, as we mentioned, there aren’t any symptoms of glaucoma so some could have a false belief that their eyes are fine.
Glaucoma affects all nationalities and all people as they age. Without having regular comprehensive eye exams, the baby boomer generation is not being checked adequately for glaucoma. Dr. Don Matsumoto’s best recommendation – no matter what your age and even if you think you can see fine — don’t forget about your regular eye examination!
air date: 1/22/16