Since glaucoma has no symptoms, it is important to have a complete eye examination by an eye care specialist who is trained to provide care of the eyes, including the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Testing for glaucoma is short, simple and painless and catching the disease early can prevent damage to the eye's nerve cells and vision loss.
Medical experts recommend having a complete eye examination by age 39. After that, eye exams should be every two to four years and after age 64, they should be done every two years.
Glaucoma is a disease that is a result of a build-up of fluid in the eyeball. It is the second leading cause of blindness following age-related macular degeneration. It is estimated that as many as 120,000 Americans are now blind from glaucoma.
The likeliest candidates for the disease are the elderly; African-Americans; and people with a family history of glaucoma, pressure in the eyes, hypertension and nearsightedness.
Glaucoma can be treated with eyedrops, pills, laser surgery, eye surgery or a combination of methods. The purpose of treatment is to lower pressure in the eye so that further nerve damage and vision loss are prevented.
The FDA recently approved for marketing Timolol Maleate Ophthalmic Solution USP, a generic equivalent of the most widely prescribed treatment for glaucoma. This lower cost option is expected to be well-received, especially by those sufferers who live on a fixed income. (NAPSI)