Treating Young Glaucoma Patients fraser valley cataract laser

Treating Young Glaucoma Patients

When most people think about glaucoma, if they know what it is at all, they picture an elderly person struggling with their vision. This isn’t something that affects young people and is usually viewed as “an old person’s disease”.

Even though it is more common with older people, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect many young people. Juvenile glaucoma usually refers to patients under the age of 30, which means that it’s common enough to have a name.

Detecting it is even more difficult since most young people or their parents wouldn’t even think to consider it if their child started complaining about vision problems. In fact, there are almost no symptoms in the beginning—most people adapt to the loss of their peripheral vision by simply tilting their head slightly. They probably don’t even know how they’re doing it.

This is why bi-annual eye exams are so important. An ophthalmologist can detect glaucoma in patients of all ages and start the treatment. And yes, age is a common factor in glaucoma, but other risk factors are the person’s ancestry (Asian people have a slightly higher chance than Caucasians), the family history, among other factors.

Regardless of age, glaucoma treatment is the same. You start with eye drops or pills, anything to reduce the pressure inside the eye that may affect the optic nerve. Exercise is important, as anything that can help reduce your blood pressure may help. Sometimes that’s not enough, and glaucoma surgery is necessary. Laser surgery can be very effective as it may help increase the eye drainage and reduce the pressure.

No matter what course of treatment someone gets, always remember to think about the emotional impact of someone young being diagnosed with “an old person’s disease”. Be supportive, do your best to empathize, and be positive so they can live with this incurable disease.

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panoramic view of vancouver skyline at sunrise fraser valley cataract min

Vancouver’s Winter Can Be Tough For Your Eyes

The winter months can take a surprising toll on your eye health. For most people, their eye health is probably one of the last things on their mind during the long winter months – but winter eye care is more important than most people realize. Damaging sun reflections off snow and dry indoor air conditions can irritate your eyes and impair your vision – follow these precautions to keep your eyes healthy and happy this winter!

 

Indoor Air Conditions

Eye disorder Fraser Valley Cataract

Once of the most common complaints for our eyes in the winter is dryness, and subsequent burning or itchiness. The winter usually causes lower humidity levels in your home or work when the heat is on and the windows are closed. Those who wear contact lenses are more likely to experience this problem, but it can affect anyone. Sometimes, people with this issue complain initially of eyes that water too much – this is cause because their eyes are not tearing as they should when they get dry and irritated, and are therefore watering too much. Over time, dryness can cause blurred vision or can damage the cornea.

To avoid this issue, you can follow a few steps:

  • Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated;
  • Use an air humidifier;
  • Carry eye drops with you;
  • Try blinking more often.

 

Outdoor Glare

If you plan to spend several hours outdoors in the winter – whether that be skiing, skating, or shovelling snow – exposure to UV light from the sun’s reflection on the snow or ice can cause damage to the eye’s surface, and cause an inflammation of the cornea. This can make the eyes red, sore, sensitive, and may require antibiotics to prevent infection. Too much exposure to UV light also plays a key role in the development of cataracts, which affect vision.

To avoid damage from outdoor glare, follow these steps:

  • Wear sunglasses that protect against the UV light;
  • When skiing, wear goggles with polycarbonate lenses;
  • Limit your time outdoors – especially if you’ve forgotten eye protection and it is sunny or bright outside.

Additionally, getting laser vision correction ahead of the winter season can be a great idea to improve your enjoyment of the winter activities that you love, as it would mean no rain or fog on your glasses – just clear vision so you can focus on your favorite winter sport.

If you plan to spend time outdoors this winter, plan ahead to help avoid eye problems. They may not be bothering you now, but protecting your eyes from the winter weather can help to avoid long-term issues.

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