Glaucoma is used to describe eye disorders that involve damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends visual signals from your eye to your brain, resulting in a loss of vision.
There are several types of glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is one of the most common disorders. It results from increased pressure inside the eye, which can cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to vision loss or even blindness. This pressure can build slowly and be difficult to detect in everyday life. It may start by affecting only your peripheral vision.
Pressure is not the only indicator of glaucoma. High pressure does not always lead to glaucoma, and glaucoma can develop even with normal eye pressure. Anyone can develop glaucoma, although it is most common in people over 40.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is not as common, but can develop much more quickly. If you are experiencing intense eye pain, redness in your eye, blurred vision, or nausea, you may need immediate medical attention. This form of glaucoma is an emergency and needs to be treated right away.
There is no way to completely prevent glaucoma, but early diagnosis and treatment can help control the condition and limit its effects. Though medication or surgery can help reduce the damage, glaucoma is not curable.
For this reason, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly. If you have certain risk factors (such as those related to age, race, family history, and previous medical conditions), we may test for glaucoma even more often.
To test for glaucoma, we use tonometry to measure the pressure inside your eye and pachymetry to measure your corneal thickness. We also examine your field of vision and your retina.
Treatment includes prescription eye drops to manage the pressure in your eyes. You may also need to add other medications, but surgery or implants may be a better option for you. Even when you are treating your glaucoma, it is important to have your eyes monitored closely for any changes.
If you have any questions or are at risk for glaucoma, don’t hesitate to contact us today!