Dr. Stewart Shofner Debunks Top Five Myths About Glaucoma
Dr. Stewart Shofner and Dr. Kevin Johnson of Shofner Vision Center see multitudes of patients suffering from impaired vision. Some of the most common treatments are LASIK and Cataract vision correction surgery. Recently, Dr. Shofner has noticed a significant increase in patients requesting glaucoma information during an eye exam and also online. To help patients understand the facts, Dr. Shofner debunks the top five myths about glaucoma.
1) Myth: People with perfect vision won't develop glaucoma. Fact: Individuals with perfect vision could still have or develop glaucoma since the disease usually affects peripheral vision first and central vision last. Some types of glaucoma show no symptoms and can only be diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam.
2) Myth: Marijuana heals glaucoma. Fact: The American Academy of Ophthalmology Complementary Therapy Task Force finds no scientific evidence demonstrating increased benefit and/or diminished risk of marijuana use in the treatment of glaucoma compared with the wide variety of pharmaceutical agents now available.
3) Myth: Glaucoma is only genetically acquired. Fact: Family history of some forms of glaucoma can increase one's risk of developing glaucoma and researchers are actively investigating the genes responsible. However, in many cases glaucoma is not inherited.
4) Myth: Medicine cures glaucoma. Fact: Early detection and treatment minimizes the risk of permanent vision loss. However, there isn't a quick fix or cure. Glaucoma is a chronic condition that needs ongoing treatment. If damage has already occurred it is irreversible.
5) Myth: High blood pressure causes glaucoma. Fact: Controlling blood pressure does not mean intraocular pressure (IOP) is controlled. While high blood pressure can be associated with elevated IOP, low blood pressure is strongly associated with some types of glaucoma, for example, normal-tension glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve, and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision. The most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is associated with an increase in the fluid pressure inside the eye.
This increase in pressure (also known as IOP) may cause progressive damage to the optic nerve and loss of nerve fibers. Two-thirds of those with closed-angle glaucoma develop it slowly without any symptoms prior to an attack. Advanced glaucoma may even cause blindness.
Who's at Risk?
According to the American Optometric Association, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It most often occurs in people over age 40 and females represent over 60% of prevalent glaucoma cases worldwide. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans over 40 years old, and Hispanics over 60 years old are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma.
Other risk factors include thinner corneas, chronic eye inflammation, and using medications that increase the pressure in the eyes. "The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to schedule an eye exam," says Dr. Shofner. If diagnosed with glaucoma, appropriate treatment should begin immediately.
About Shofner Vision Center
Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center, Nashville, TN specializes in cataract vision correction and LASIK vision correction surgery, eye disease diagnosis and treatment. Eye Specialist, Dr. Kevin Johnson of Shofner Vision Center is a well-respected expert in contact lens fitting and prescription glasses. Dr. Johnson is also Therapeutics Board Certified to treat and manage ocular diseases.
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Shofner Vision Center's professional staff members pay close attention to details to ensure every patient is given the best care. Most insurance plans are accepted including Medicaid and Tri-Care and they also offer the most affordable Custom 3D LASIK in middle Tennessee. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone experiencing vision impairment should contact Shofner Vision Center for a "No Fear - No Pressure" exam.