Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. It is a group of eye conditions that is commonly referred to as “the silent thief of sight” because the symptoms develop slowly and often go unnoticed. Many patients suffering from glaucoma lose up to 40% of their vision before realizing there is a problem.
Routine eye exams allow the team at The EyeDoctors Optometrists to detect eye disease and conditions before vision loss or impairment occurs. Although glaucoma cannot be prevented, it can be controlled. Our doctors specialize in glaucoma care and will help you maintain your best vision possible.
Protect your gift of sight and schedule an appointment with one of our glaucoma specialists today.
Over 40? It is recommended to have a glaucoma exam every 3-4 years. Higher risk populations especially those with a family history should be examined for glaucoma more regularly. Schedule a Glaucoma exam at your nearest The EyeDoctors Optometrists.
Glaucoma most often affects people over 40 years old. It occurs when your eye cannot maintain a balance between the amount of intraocular fluid produced and drained. Intraocular fluid maintains the shape of your eye and flows between the iris and the lens. When there is an imbalance, the pressure in your eye increases. Too much pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, the part of the eye that is responsible for sending the images you see to the brain, causing changes to your vision.
While less common, glaucoma can also be caused by blunt or chemical eye injuries, a severe infection, blocked blood vessels, and inflammatory conditions.
Risk Factors for Glaucoma
Glaucoma can be hereditary and affect people of all ages, including infants, children, and young adults. It can cause throbbing headaches, extreme eye pressure, redness of the eye, and reduced peripheral vision. Telling your doctor if you have a family history of glaucoma or are at risk for the disease can play an integral role in protecting your eyes and preventing discomfort.
In addition to age, risk factors for glaucoma include:
African American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian background
Sickle cell anemia
High blood pressure
High eye pressure
Steroids including hydrocortisone and prednisone
Medications for bladder control and seizures
Some over-the-counter cold remedies
Previous eye injury
Family history of glaucoma
Nearsightedness or farsightedness
If you have a family history of glaucoma, are at risk of developing the disease, or experiencing any of the symptoms, call (phone number) to schedule an appointment with The EyeDoctors Optometrists today.
Understanding Your Glaucoma Treatment Options
Glaucoma cannot be prevented, and damage to the optic nerve cannot be reversed, but it can be slowed down and managed. The team at The EyeDoctors Optometrists specialize in identifying, diagnosing, and treating glaucoma and can help you determine the best treatment option to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.
Two of the most common glaucoma treatments include:
Eye Drops: Eye drops are designed to decrease pressure in the eye by limiting the production of intraocular fluid or by promoting better outflow. Like all glaucoma medications, you must have a prescription for these drops. One drawback is that they require continuous, daily use in order to prevent loss of vision.
Glaucoma Surgery: The most common surgical procedure to treat glaucoma involves the insertion of a medical device to help fluid flow out of the eye. Our glaucoma specialists perform this painless procedure using the smallest FDA-approved stent available, the iStent®. Most patients don’t even feel the device or need to use eye drops as much after surgery or at all.
Early detection of glaucoma is key because symptoms often go unnoticed and once vision loss occurs, it cannot be restored. If you are at risk for glaucoma, you should see your eye doctor more regularly. Schedule an appointment with The EyeDoctors Optometrists today.
The doctors at The EyeDoctors Optometrists are experts in personalized eye care and use the most advanced technology available in comprehensive eye exams. In addition to considering any risk factors, your eye doctor will dilate your pupils, inspect the inside of your eye, and perform additional tests if necessary.
Tests for glaucoma include:
Visual field test to evaluate your peripheral vision
Fundus photos to monitor the retina and optic nerve
Gonioscopy to evaluate the flow of intraocular fluid
Pachymetry to measure the thickness of the cornea
Tonometry to measure the intraocular eye pressure
OCT (ocular coherence tomography) to visualize the deeper structure of the optic nerve and monitor for changes
Your eye doctor will analyze the results and may consult an ophthalmologist to determine the best course of treatment for your unique eyes.
Glaucoma can lead to blindness if left untreated. Of about 2.3 million cases of glaucoma, 12 percent have resulted in vision impairment and approximately 120,000 have resulted in complete loss of sight. Routine eye exams are essential to eye health because they allow your doctor to monitor your vision, detect eye conditions like glaucoma, and provide treatment to manage the progression of the disease.
The prognosis depends on the type and severity of the glaucoma diagnosis. While glaucoma cannot be cured, it can be controlled through routine eye exams and treatments.
If you are living with glaucoma, contact The EyeDoctors Optometrists today. Our team of glaucoma specialists can help you preserve your vision and live your life more comfortably.