Common Myths Surrounding Glaucoma And How They Affect You

Because of the many myths surrounding glaucoma, people often don’t know the facts. Research the truth about the many glaucoma myths so that you can better understand and treat your condition.

Myth: Glaucoma Only Affects the Elderly

While your risk of developing glaucoma increases with age, anyone can be diagnosed with glaucoma–even infants. Many factors can contribute to the development of glaucoma, including previous eye injury or optical surgery. Additionally, individuals of any age who suffer from diabetes, hyperthyroidism, leukemia and myopia are at an increased risk of glaucoma.

Myth: All Glaucoma Is Caused by Increased Intraocular Pressure

Increased intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the fist indicators of glaucoma, but it’s not the same as the disease itself. Glaucoma is actually caused by damage to the optic nerve, which is often (but not always) a direct result of IOP.
IOP can vary in an individual within a 24-hour period. People with greater variations in their daytime and nighttime IOPs are considered to be glaucoma suspect, meaning that they may have increased susceptibility to the disease.

Myth: Glaucoma Is a Gradual Disease That You Don’t Have to Worry About Right Away

Glaucoma can have a very gradual progression that could prevent an individual from noticing the condition altogether. Still, certain types of glaucoma, such as angle-closure glaucoma, can develop very rapidly.
Vision lost due to glaucoma can never be restored. Be active about your glaucoma, and follow all treatment instructions, to preserve the vision you have left. Many people with glaucoma never experience noticeable vision loss because they are vigilant about their treatment.

Myth: Glaucoma Is a Purely Hereditary Condition

Glaucoma is more prevalent in people who have a family history of the disease, but it can strike anyone. This is especially true of individuals who have sustained eye injuries that have damaged the optic nerve, or who have experienced complications during ocular surgery.

Myth: You can Always Tell if You’re Developing Glaucoma Because Your Vision Will Become Blurry

Many people living with glaucoma experience no symptoms whatsoever in the initial stages of the disease. This can make glaucoma hard to detect without regular screenings. The benefit of this phenomenon is that those who do detect it before their vision begins to suffer can sometimes maintain full vision for the duration of their lives.
Knowing the truth behind these common glaucoma myths can help you when it comes to understanding glaucoma, its progression and treatments.