Glaucoma is a profoundly serious condition of the eye. It is known as the silent thief of sight because it often shows no symptoms until permanent vision loss has occurred. It is characterized by increased pressure in the eye, and it is one of the leading causes vision loss in adults over 60. If the condition is caught early, the professionals at Springs Optometric Group can create a treatment plan to slow the progression of the disease.
Q: What Are the Two Types of Glaucoma?
A: There are two types of glaucoma. The first is called open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type. This type occurs when the drainage canal in your eye becomes clogged, causing the fluid to drain slowly, increasing the pressure in the eye.
The second type is called angle-closure glaucoma. This type comes on suddenly, and it occurs when your eye's drainage system becomes completely clogged, causing fluid to build up and increasing the pressure in the eye very rapidly.
Q: Who Is At Risk For Glaucoma?
A: Anyone can develop glaucoma; however, there are certain factors that can increase your chances of getting the disease.
- Being 60 or over
- Having a family history of glaucoma
- Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
- Long-term use of corticosteroid medications
- Previous eye injury or eye surgery
Q: What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
A: In the early stages, open-angle glaucoma shows no symptoms. As the condition progresses, you can begin to experience blind spots in your peripheral vision. Over time, tunnel vision can occur.
Because angle-closure glaucoma causes a rapid increase of eye pressure, the symptoms come on suddenly and they are severe. The symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma include:
- Severe headache
- Severe pain in the eye
- Blurry vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Redness of the eyes
- Seeing halos around lights
Q: How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
A: Glaucoma can be diagnosed during an annual eye exam. If your eye doctor finds that the pressure in your eyes is high, they will perform ore tests. They will order photos, so that they can get a good image of the optic nerve to check for damage. To inspect the drainage angle, they will perform a gonioscopy. Finally, to determine if you have lost any peripheral vision, your eye doctor will perform a visual field test.
Q: How Is Glaucoma Treated?
While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are treatment options available to slow the progression of the disease.
- Eyedrops: In the early stages, your eye doctor can prescribe drops to keep the pressure in your eyes down.
- Laser treatments: There are laser treatments available that will open the drainage system in your eyes, allowing the fluid to drain.
- Drainage tubes: Your eye doctor can insert a small shunt into the eye to allow the fluid to drain easily, keeping the pressure down.
Call Warm Springs Optometric Group Today!
It is essential that glaucoma is caught early; therefore, annual visits to Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont, CA are essential. Our experts will test the pressure in your eyes during each visit, catching the disease early. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.