Glaucoma is a serious condition of the eye. There are two types of glaucoma, and they occur due to high pressure within the eyes. Increased interocular pressure can damage the optic nerve, leading to permanent vision loss. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, the professionals at Dr. C Vision Care can provide treatment options to slow the progression of the disease.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two types of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type and occurs when the fluid in your eyes drains slowly. When the fluid cannot drain properly, the pressure in your eyes will increase. Angle-closure is less common and more severe. It occurs when the fluid cannot drain at all resulting in a rapid spike in eye pressure.
Glaucoma Risk Factors
Although anyone can develop glaucoma, certain factors increase your risk of developing the disease including:
- Family history of glaucoma
- Medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure
- Being over the age of 60
- Being Asian, Hispanic, or African-American
- Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
- Previous eye injury or surgery
- Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, particularly eye drops
- Thin corneas
Open-angle glaucoma often shows no early symptoms, which is why it was given the nickname, 'the silent thief of sight.” If you don't see the eye doctor every year, you may not know you have glaucoma until permanent peripheral vision loss has occurred. Because angle-closure glaucoma causes a rapid increase in eye pressure, the symptoms are severe and include:
- Severe eye pain
- Severe headaches
- Blurry vision
- Redness of the eyes
- Seeing halos around lights
- Nausea and vomiting
Glaucoma can be diagnosed during an annual eye exam. During the exam, our eye doctor will test your intraocular pressure. If it is elevated, we will perform further tests to confirm the diagnosis including:
- A gonioscopy can be performed to inspect your drainage angle
- A pachymetry can be performed to measure the thickness of your corneas
- A visual field can be performed to check for areas of vision loss
Although there is no cure for open-angle glaucoma, there are treatment options available to slow the progression of the disease.
- Eye drops designed to reduce pressure in your eyes
- Laser trabeculoplasty, which is a laser procedure to unclog the eye's drainage system
- Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure where the trabecular meshwork that is making it impossible for the fluid to drain is removed
- Drainage tubes can be inserted to help the fluid drain from your eyes
Angle-closure glaucoma can be treated through laser or conventional surgery. During either surgery, your eye doctor will remove a small portion of the outer edge of the iris to help unblock the drainage system.
Contact Our Optometry Professionals in Pensacola, FL for Glaucoma Treatment
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Dr. C Vision Care today at (850) 456-2019.