Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More


Military and Veterans Discount



AARP Games - Play Now!


Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.


Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.



Heart Disease


Most Popular


Fighting Glaucoma May Be Easier Than You Think

Early detection is the key to saving your vision

Normal Vision
Abnormal Vision

Q: What can I do to protect my vision?
A: Get an eye exam. "The biggest misconception is that there is no real treatment for it, that it just comes with aging," says Higginbotham. "Glaucoma — at least blindness related to glaucoma — can be prevented with early detection." While there is no way to prevent glaucoma or reverse vision loss caused by the disease, regular eye exams are critical to diagnosing and controlling the condition.

Q: What's the exam like?
A: During the exam, your doctor will place drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, your pupils. This will allow him or her to look inside your eye for signs of damage to the optic nerve. In addition, your doctor will gauge the fluid pressure inside your eyes with an instrument called a tonometer, which either rests against your eye's (numbed) surface or sends a puff of air onto your cornea. The puff can be startling, and you may feel a slight pressure on your eye, but it doesn't hurt. Also part of the exam: Tests that measure your peripheral vision and visual acuity at various distances.

Q: Can I get help paying for the exam?
A: Medicare will cover an annual dilated eye exam for some people at higher risk for glaucoma, including African Americans 50 and older, Hispanics 65 and older, people with diabetes and those with a family history of glaucoma. (Learn more about free eye screenings.)

Q: If it turns out I have it, what are my treatment options?
A: Patients may be given medication, have surgery or get a combination of both. Laser and conventional surgical procedures help fluid drain out of the eye by widening the eye's drainage system or creating a new opening through which fluid can flow. Medication, usually in the form of eye drops, reduces fluid production or increases the exit of fluid from the eye. Ask your doctor questions if any of the information you receive about treatments is unclear, and be sure to stick to your regimen, Higginbotham says. Careful management of the condition can save your vision.

You may also like: 7 tips for choosing the right sunglasses.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points