What is it?
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in people ages 40 and older. The most common form of the eye condition often worsens without any symptoms, causing progressive vision loss and can lead to blindness if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial. As there are usually no warning signs of glaucoma, you should have regular eye examinations for early detection. By age 40, you should get checked for glaucoma every two to three years. At Envision Eye Specialists, our team offers effective treatment options for glaucoma, helping control the condition to prevent worsening of your vision.
Although glaucoma tends to be a genetic disorder, it can happen to anyone. The disease is characterized by having too much pressure in the eye caused by fluid buildup. This clear fluid, known as aqueous humor, continuously flows through the inner eye. If your eye’s natural drainage system is not functioning properly, or excess fluid is produced, there is buildup that causes pressure in the inner eye. This can eventually damage the optic nerve, which is what allows us to see images clearly. You may begin to develop blind spots, often starting in your side (peripheral) vision. Since the vision loss from glaucoma is typically gradual, the disease often goes unnoticed until the optic nerve is significantly damaged.
There are two main types of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form and gradually develops over time. This results from an imbalance between the aqueous fluid and drainage system, causing fluid buildup and abnormal eye pressure. Acute angle-closure glaucoma (also called narrow-angle glaucoma), is a less common form of glaucoma that occurs when the iris of the eye arches forward, creating a sudden blockage of the fluid drainage system. This type of glaucoma is characterized by sudden pain in the eye, often accompanied by blurry vision, nausea, and vomiting. Acute angle-closure glaucoma requires immediate treatment. In addition to open-angle and acute angle-closure glaucoma, babies can be born with congenital glaucoma, which is when the drainage openings in their eye(s) develop a defect, preventing proper fluid drainage.
TYPES OF GLAUCOMA
Close genetic relatives
Eye injury, eye surgery or radiation treatments on your upper body
Routine screenings can help monitor your eye health and detect glaucoma in its earliest stages. During these visits, your eye doctor will check your eye pressure, and if it is higher than normal, they will perform further tests to determine if there have been changes in the optic nerve that may indicate glaucoma. By utilizing multiple ophthalmic tools, your doctor can provide an accurate glaucoma diagnosis by examining your eye pressure, side and central vision, and interior structures of your eye. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your eye doctor will closely monitor its progress during regularly scheduled visits. Detailed photographs of the optic nerve can show any changes that may indicate surgery is necessary.
Treatment for glaucoma is designed to lower your eye pressure, improve fluid drainage, or reduce fluid production. It is important to note that damage from the disease is irreversible, but when caught early, you can typically avoid severe vision loss. The eye surgeons at Envision Eye Specialists offer the following forms of treatment to effectively control your glaucoma: Eye Drops and Laser Therapy