Glaucoma can be an incredibly scary condition. If you get struck by glaucoma, you can go blind extremely quickly without any major symptoms. That's why it's essential to protect yourself. Here are some tips to help you do that.

1.  Know the Symptoms of Glaucoma

Although there aren't many early signs of glaucoma that you can detect on your own, there are a few symptoms you should be aware of. In particular, if you develop blind spots in your peripheral vision, severe unexplained headaches, or eye pain, you should contact an optometrist to check the health of your eyes.

2. Get Regular Eye Exams

During a routine eye exam, the optometrist checks the pressure of your eye, and that test indicates whether or not you have an increased risk of glaucoma. Even if you don't have vision issues, you should schedule an exam to check on this issue. This is especially important as you get older.

3. Talk With Your Optometrist If You Have Risk Factors for Glaucoma

There are certain factors that may make you more likely to get glaucoma. In particular, if you are over the age of 60, you are at increased risk, and that risk grows every year. During this stage in your life, regular eye exams become critical.

Additionally, if your family has a history of glaucoma, if you have suffered an eye injury, or if you use corticosteroids such as prednisone, you should talk with your optometrist about those risks. Finally, hypertension, nearsightedness, and corneas that are thicker than .5 mm can also be linked to increased risk of glaucoma.

4. Protect Your Eyes

As indicated above, eye injuries can increase the risk of glaucoma. To protect your eyes, you should wear eye protection when doing anything that could potentially lead to a blunt force trauma to the eye. For example, if you are working with tools, you should wear safety goggles. Similarly, if you are playing intense sports, you may also want to wear protection.

5. Take Medications as Directed

If your optometrist diagnoses you with glaucoma, it's important to follow their treatment recommendations. In most cases, you have to put medicated eye drops in your eyes. Doing so decreases the chance of ghe glaucoma getting worse, but if you don't follow the recommended regime, your condition could worsen.

To learn more about glaucoma, its risks, and how to protect yourself, contact an optometrist directly.