Glaucoma is a very serious disease of the eye that causes permanent damage to the optic nerve. This condition occurs when there is an excess buildup of fluid in the eye, causing the pressure to increase. When this happens, it causes damage to the optic nerve, which causes peripheral vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma, but the professionals at Gregg Family Eye Care can create a treatment plan to slow the disease's progression.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two types of glaucoma – open-angle glaucoma, and angle-closure glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma is the more common of the two types. It occurs when the eye's drainage system isn't functioning properly, causing the fluid in the eye to drain slowly, similar to a slow drain.
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the eye's drainage system becomes completely clogged, and the fluid cannot drain at all.
Who Is at Risk for Glaucoma?
Although anyone can get glaucoma, certain factors can increase your risk of getting it.
- Being over 60-years-old
- Having a family history of glaucoma
- Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
- Having a medical issue such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or sickle cell anemia
- Long-term use of corticosteroid medications
- Previous eye injury
- Previous eye surgery
What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
The symptoms you experience depend on the type of glaucoma that you have. Open-angle glaucoma shows no symptoms in the early stages. As the condition progresses, you can develop patchy blind spots in your peripheral vision. In the advanced stages, tunnel vision can occur.
The symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma come on suddenly and are more severe. They include:
- Severe headache
- Severe eye pain
- Halos around lights
- Blurry vision
- Red eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, there are a few treatment methods designed to slow the disease's progression. These include:
- Eye drops: In the early stages of the disease, your eye doctor will prescribe eye drops to reduce the pressure in your eye.
- Laser trabeculoplasty: This is a laser surgical procedure to treat open-angle glaucoma. Your eye doctor will use a small laser to open the clogged drainage system.
- Trabeculectomy: During this procedure, your eye doctor will create a small opening in the white of your eye to remove parts of the eye's drainage system that are getting clogged.
- Drainage tubes: Your eye doctor can surgically insert a shunt in your eye. The shunt will drain away from the excess fluid, keeping your eye pressure down.
Optometrist in Secane, PA
Because glaucoma is such a serious disease, it is essential that schedule an eye exam every year to catch the disease as early as possible. At Gregg Family Eye Care, our optometrist has years of experience identifying and treating glaucoma for the residents of Secane, PA, and the surrounding communities. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (610) 543-1219