A leading cause of blindness in the United States, glaucoma is an incurable eye disease that is the result of increased intraocular pressure (IOP) in the fluid chamber in the eye. In the normal eye, this vital fluid passes through drainage channels; when those channels are blocked, glaucoma develops. As a result, pressure builds in the eye permanently damaging the optic nerve. Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. Early detection is crucial and regular eye exams with our Fremont optometrist can help save your vision.
Unfortunately, open-angle glaucoma, the most common type, produces no noticeable symptoms until the permanent damage is already done. Frequently the patient reports to their optometrist with complaints of loss of side, or peripheral vision in the later stages. Angle-closure Glaucoma, a less common type can occur suddenly and produces acute eye pain and/or a headache.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately:
While most people affected are over 40, if you are over 60 you are at increased risk for the disease. Others at risk of glaucoma include:
The good news is, your optometrists in Fremont will detect the presence of Glaucoma during a comprehensive eye examination. This exam always includes collecting a thorough family and personal history of injuries, symptoms, diseases or vision problems that place you at greater risk of the disease. Based on the info you provide, and your eye examination, your optometrist will determine which additional tests are required.
It is essential to detect Glaucoma in its earliest stages when treatment options may be more plentiful and successful.
Glaucoma treatment options include:
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.
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:
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.
Regularly scheduled comprehensive eye exams are vital to the protection of your precious eyesight. Here at Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont, your vision is our only concern. Our knowledgeable, friendly staff is here to serve you and your family. We offer you exemplary care, convenient hours and location and the peace of mind of knowing your eyesight is in expert hands. Call us at 510-255-4605 to schedule an appointment with our experienced Fremont optometrist.