Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve in the eye. The optic nerve is responsible for transmitting information seen by the eye to the brain. The disease is often linked to a buildup of too much pressure inside the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve. Once the nerve is damaged, the condition only gets worse over time. Ultimately, it can lead to blindness. Early treatment, however, can prevent the loss of vision. [[[CLIENTEX:PracticeName]]] can help.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two types of glaucoma.
Risk Factors for Glaucoma
There are several risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing glaucoma. While glaucoma cannot be prevented, knowing your risk can help you to take preventative action by having regular eye exams and knowing the symptoms. Risk factors for glaucoma include:
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is caused by high fluid pressure in the eye. This pressure build-up occurs when the fluid, called aqueous humor, in the front area of your eye does not flow as it is supposed to. In a healthy eye, the fluid flows out of the eye through a channel. If the channel is blocked, the fluid builds up. This creates the pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve. As the nerve fibers begin to die, blind spots begin to form until blindness eventually occurs. Other, less common, causes of glaucoma include:
With open-angle glaucoma, there are no early warning signs, as pressure builds gradually. As the condition progresses, however, you may start to notice blind spots in your peripheral vision. Because the buildup of pressure is so slow, most people do not notice any symptoms until the damage is more severe.
With angle-closure glaucoma, you may not notice any symptoms until you have an attack when the drainage angle is completely blocked. Some individuals may experience early symptoms such as blurred vision, eye pain, halos or mild headaches. These symptoms should be checked as quickly as possible. Symptoms of a complete angle closure attack include:
Treatment for Glaucoma
Glaucoma tests are done during your regular eye exams and are essential as these tests are the only way to diagnose the disease. During this test, the eye pressure is measured, the drainage angle is examined, the optic nerve is measured and examined, and the peripheral vision is tested.
If glaucoma is detected, a treatment plan is made. While the damage from the disease cannot be reversed, the condition can be treated to prevent further damage from occurring. Common treatments for glaucoma include:
Regular eye exams, during which glaucoma tests are performed, are important for early detection and prevention of vision loss. However, if you notice any symptoms of glaucoma in between your annual visits, it is important to seek treatment immediately. Call [[[CLIENTEX:PracticeName]]] for more information or to schedule your appointment today at 360.553.1312.